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Faith: The fish hook is a symbol of determination and hope

Let’s all fish together to share our hope, peace, grace, forgiveness and love to one another

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Photo illustration / Shutterstock.com
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For the last several years, my brother and I have gone on an ice fishing trip to Lake of the Woods after Christmas Day.

It is a time for us to relax, catch up with each other and catch some fish.

This year, however, was a little different because the fish weren’t biting; instead of hearing the bell in the rattle reel jingling, we were serenaded by the hum of the depth finder!

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Ice fishing — some may say that it is like watching paint dry, but for me it is a time to decompress, reflect on the past year and listen to God.

This year, as I watched my lure bobbing up and down on the depth finder, I couldn’t help but think of how powerful one little hook can be.

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A look into my tackle box brings to mind a quote from a friend: “A fish hook is designed to catch your eye, rather than an actual fish.”

In fact, the fish hook was and remains a very important symbol in many different cultures — as a symbol of strength, power and determination.

The fish hook also reminds us of our connection to the water, the world and to all the creatures therein.

Why is the fish hook a symbol of determination? Because it takes determination to use a fish hook effectively.

For example, someone might use a fish hook to catch a fish for food or to catch a fish for sport. In either case, the fish hook represents the idea of catching something that is valuable.

In fact, some people believe that when you catch a fish, you are not only feeding your body but also your soul.

For Christians, the symbol of the fish hook represents the idea of “fishing for souls.” This meaning is based on a story from the Bible.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 4, verse 14, Jesus calls his disciples to put down your nets and come and follow me, for I will teach you how to fish for people.

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The fish hook is also a symbol of hope, as it represents the idea of catching something valuable.

That something of value is me and you, and Jesus calls us all to fish for people. The hook is the good news of Jesus Christ, for it is a message of hope, peace, grace, forgiveness and love.

The world still needs to hear this message in 2023. As 2,000 years ago, 12 young men went fishing for people and hooked the world, we are now called to do the same.

So let’s get out there and fish for people so that the message of Jesus Christ can change their lives as well.

Let’s all fish together to share our hope, peace, grace, forgiveness and love to one another in our community and throughout the world.

Drew Bakken is senior pastor at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa.

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