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John 21.1-19 “Back to Church” JUMC 20130414

 

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1 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. 2 Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off. 9 When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.” [NRSV]
Last week we look at the disappointment in the reality of grief. Recall on the Road to Emmaus, Jesus meets two travelers, Cleopas and likely his wife, they share their disappointments and sadness, yet they offer HOSPITALITY to Jesus they perceive is a stranger until they eat together.
It is good for young folks to eat with each other. They start doing thisat lunch. You know them

  • The Bragger: who always seems to show off they have a larger portion or a better tasting treat brought-from-home.
  • The Trader: who always wants to trade something on their plate for something they like better on their plate or a promise of a future trade (For the advanced traders)
  • The Bully: who continually takes or threatens to take what they want.
  • The Picky Poker: They play with their food but don’t eat it, making it untradeable and undesirable for anyone except..
  • The Creative Scientist: Who mixes combinations and eats the crazed concoctions for attention or for the next food TV network show.
  • The Talkers: Who use the time for nourishment of the body to feed the insatiable desire for the latest scoop even if it means being hunger before class is over.
  • Mr or Miss Clean and Neat: They have to have the food on the tray in a certain order, no crumbs or spills allowed. They will clean their plate or make an empty milk carton a tidy home for unwanted food.

I’m sure there are other regulars at the table but kids could begin to learn a great deal about their piers from taking notes on table manors. Look back at the text from John, Cleopas and his wife learn that it is Jesus from watching and listening what happens at the dinner table.

In our text today, it is the breakfast table. I have a Monday morning pastor’s breakfast that is the joy of my week. We study, pray, laugh, cry, share and learn about each other lives, families and ministries. We refer to is endearingly as our church, the place where we become the congregation and do not have the responsibility of leading or directing. It is a treasure. But if you came to visit, and occasional members do drop by, you will find us at our best and at our worst.
Jesus finds Peter and a group of the others who have given up, even after seeing the empty tomb, even after appearing in the locked room,even after reappearing when Thomas was with themeven after the testimony of others who had seen and heard Jesus after the resurrection..
Peter is ready to go back to fishing for fish and not for people.He is ready to lead others to fishing for fish and not fishing for peopleHe is ready to try his own experience and strengths and know-how not leaning JesusHe is ready to exchange the familiar than risk failure and face fears.He is ready for much, just not ready for Jesus.
Are we ready for breakfast? Are we ready to start the day eating and drinking in the spiritual food God supplies, our manna.?Are we ready to begin the day looking for perspective and advice that come from outside our own?Are we ready to stick with the church, even if our vision is not fulfilled.This is where a majority of those who once were in church sit this very morning… Oh that might be asleep, on the lake, at work, sitting on the sofa, our just about anywhere but here.But somewhere they had a Peter experience and lost sight of Jesus standing on the shore.
Here is the good news for us and for them, and its tided to our mission.Jesus feeds his disciples once more and challenges them to feed others, because that is our work
Not just physical food, but more importantly the SPIRITUAL food.We can feed folks in Jackson, New York, Tegucigalpa, and at our kitchen table and not do if for JesusAnd we just have a single meal.If we are feeding folks the love of God, right from the heart, we satisfy the spirit: we quench fears, release grief, we teach people to trust Christ for themselves.
Have we forgotten since just a couple of Sunday’s ago that we are “Resurrection People.”Christ lives for us to live in him.We share communion last week and here we are today.. has that bite been enough, are you back for more? More of what?
Look to the text once more: 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19.. After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

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