Fishermen – 7 February 2022

Here fisherman work together to haul in nets on the edge of the shore. The tide is going out, and as the sea retreats the nets are full. The work requires a team effort, collective endeavour of men who each contribute their muscle. All but one stand on the shoreline, bending their bodies to pull in the nets. We can see their strength, the exertion in their bodies. One man is in the water. His stance is upright, and he pulls the net behind him. This figure gives the picture a sense of movement from left to right. We can see a few fish, the full catch has yet to be revealed.

The fishermen are painted with care, individual details noted. Some have beards, some are clean shaven. Their clothes differ, some are unshod. At least one has an earring, and another a pipe. They are different ages and experiences. To bring in the catch of fish they have to work together.

The picture is ‘Fishermen hauling the net on Skagen’s north beach’, 1883, by Peder Severin Krøyer (1851-1909). He was a member of the Skagan artistic community, concerned with depicting the lives of those who lived and worked in the rural and fishing occupations in the northern most tip of Denmark.


When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”  Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break.  So they signalled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink.  But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken;  and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

Luke 5:4-11


Throw out the lifeline across the dark wave;
There is a brother whom someone should save;
Somebody’s brother, O who then will dare
To throw out the lifeline, his peril to share?

Throw out the lifeline! Throw out the lifeline!
Someone is drifting away;
Throw out the lifeline! Throw out the lifeline!
Someone is sinking today.

Throw out the lifeline with hand quick and strong;
Why do you tarry, why linger so long?
See, he is sinking, O hasten today;
And out with the lifeboat, away, then, away! [Refrain]

Throw out the lifeline to danger-fraught men,
Sinking in anguish where you’ve never been;
Winds of temptation and billows of woe
Will soon hurl them out where the dark waters flow. [Refrain]

Soon will the season of rescue be o’er;
Soon will they drift to eternity’s shore;
Haste then, my brother, no time for delay!
But throw out the lifeline and save them today. [Refrain]

African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal, E S Ufford, 1888