A leader needs apostles. Apostles need a leader they believe in. In Genesis chapter 12, God says to Abraham [paraphrased],” Leave home and go to where I will show you and do as I instruct.” Abraham rises to the command, for he grasps that it is founded in the truth that gives the universe meaning and life purpose.
Something similar happens when Jesus calls to Simon Peter and Andrew, plying their trade on the Galilee. “Follow Me. I’ll make you fishers of men.” When I think of Abraham answering the call, I must admit to often seeing in my mind’s eye the “I Want to be Ready” segment in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations.
Yes, it is a gospel theme, but the apostleship, the discipleship, is the key here, and without harm to its Christian uniqueness, its resonance is universal. It is the call to serve a greater power. No political power, however tempting, can exercise such pull.
For the fishers-of-men imagery, there are some stirring frames in Pasolini’s Saint Matthew. And there is the wonderful Rhonda Vincent belting out Fishers of Men with the Rage, but you may have a favorite version.
My true love gave to me eleven faithful Apostles; there were twelve, but one of them turned. Double agents are not snitches, they agonize over their choice: not money or a reduced sentence is in play, but their souls. The gift of the apostles is to teach that if you accept the call, you will be at peace – even in the most perilous mission.