Ministry Updates for Thursday, April 16th, 2020
Scripture for Reflection – John 21:9-14 (You may want to re-read vs. 1-8 as well)
When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 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. 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. 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.
Reflection – Communing with Christ
In the early years of my life, we would go annually to a Lake in Michigan where my grandparents had a summer home. My grandfather and my uncles worked in a bakery in Cincinnati. They were professionals and liked their jobs, which they were happy to do while on vacation. In my humble opinion, their specialty was coffee cakes. The scent of brown sugar crumble cakes, ‘Schnecken’ (think monkey bread), and occasionally deep-fried doughnuts would waft from the kitchen to provide an unbeatable greeting to the new day.
The sugary confections were great, as was the lack of parental supervision over our diets. But being at that table with my cousins was the best part of the fun. After our fingers were sufficiently sticky and our stomachs were sufficiently full, we left the table in order to spend the rest of the day enjoying the sunshine and the lake, and the boats and the raft.
I certainly miss those days, of course fully aware that God has better things in store. I suspect that Jesus missed his followers and the time he had spent with them in travel and the daily breaking of bread. I suspect they missed it to.
I truly love this moment in this story. There is a pause in the action. It is a gathering of friends, friends with a purpose, to be sure. But in this moment relationships are simply there to be enjoyed. Whether it is a sugary breakfast cake, or a piece of fish, when we break bread we experience that which truly nourishes us; time with God and time with friends.
Here, as is reported in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus takes one more meal with these men before he departs into heaven. He has died. He has risen. And he will ascend into heaven.
As a theologian, I am at a loss to explain the mechanics of that. But also as a theologian, I know that life moves on, and so Jesus had to as well. In this end, there will be a new beginning.
Today I would invite you to think on a time of breaking bread with family or friends when your cares were a distant second to the joy of being in community, and where it seemed that God was there in a special way.
God of sustenance, God of community, God of our daily bread, we thank you for our communities, our friends, our families, our church, our schools, our civic organizations and our sports teams and hobby groups. We thank you that they nourish us with mutual companionship and affection. We thank you for the way You are present in and through them. Amen.