One last barbeque
John 21: 1-8
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 lake. 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.
Easter 2019 was an absolute blast.We had friends over from Ireland for the weekend and couldn’t have asked for better weather. Some places in Scotland had been warmer than Majorca!
Apart from all the sunshine the cherry on the cake had been the amount of times we had a barbeque. There’s something that screams ‘summer’ when the smell of smoky charcoal and meat enters the nostrils, isn’t there?
But something was different this time around.
I had previously lit fires in the backyard. And the meat had been the same Morrison’s beef sirloin. But somehow everything was just better with friends.
It’s probably the inverse of how Jesus (and the disciples) felt after his resurrection.
“The boat outing was just more fun when Jesus used to calm the storm or walk on water.”
“Who’s going to ask us thought provoking questions?”
“How will we pass the time without Jesus’ stories and parables?”
Jesus knew his friends were disappointed. That they missed him dearly. So He organises one last barbeque with his mates before his departure to remind them that he will always be around. That he will especially manifest and be present through fellowship. That Holy Communion is something we celebrate every time we gather to eat or chat about stuff that concerns the Kingdom of heaven.
Now isn’t that reassuring?
Especially when we feel isolated. Or disappointed when Jesus doesn’t feel close. When we struggle to see or hear him.
Perhaps then, we should change our angle and perspective by throwing ‘the net on the other side of the boat’.
If you’ve ever tasted the sweetness of being in relationship with Jesus it’s literally impossible to find that level of fulfilment and joy anywhere else. Discipline yourself to remember this in times of trouble. God has quenched your thirst in the past…and He wants to do it again!
Lord, I’m grappling with this trial.
This test that I need to endure. And I don’t know the answer or outcome. I feel totally out of my depth.
Please help me to trust you. I don’t feel close to you in my disappointment, but I know you are there. That you are closer to me than my own skin.
Give me wisdom and insight into your ways by making me wait, patient, as you invite me ashore.