Monday, July 21, 2008

Running from the past: Breakfast with Jesus V

An Easter sermon from John 21: part V
2. A stranger on the shore
Except this morning, in our passage, Simon can’t even catch any fish. So it’s no surprise that when a stranger on the shore gives them such astoundingly good advice, Simon is once more the first to respond. Leaving the others to do the hard work of bringing in the bumper catch, he leaps into the water and races to the shore. Just like he had been first to race to the tomb when he heard it was empty. He is a man with unfinished business. This figure has shown them where to find abundance and sustenance, and so Simon knows it must be Jesus - the very one he had failed. He is not running from this chance to address the past, though he doesn’t know what to say. Having rushed to be first with Jesus, Simon then hangs back to help out when the rest of them arrive in the boat with nets bulging with fish.

But notice that Jesus doesn’t need their fish. He is already cooking fish and bread when they bring in their catch, “yet he invites them to bring what they have to share with him, as he gives what he has to share with them.” (Rowan Williams, Resurrection, 28). A beautiful and rich image of Jesus’ generosity and humility; he doesn’t need our gifts, but he invites and accepts and uses them nonetheless. And there are many other fascinating details in this story, like how Jesus is both known and yet a stranger, both the same one they have known and loved and followed, and yet somehow more than that too.
Series: I; II: III; IV; V; VI; VII; VIII; IX.


sair said...

A great evangelist, Ellis Potter, talks about his favourite Christian t-shirt... It just says on the front: Jesus said, "Come and have breakfast with me". When he's wearing it he likes to ask people what they think of a God who wants to eat breafast with you. An interesting question, and a fact about Jesus we (I?) don't think about enough :)

byron smith said...

I love that story. Where can I get a shirt like that? Maybe we could use it as a church sign...

sair said...

Well, the t-shirt Ellis had was from a YWAM mission he did in Byron Bay last year... but maybe you could make one / get one made ?

I think it would make a good sign too... but would it work better during some particular food festival or other event, or would it work just as well at any random time?