Today’s Reading: John 21
As I am reading and reflecting on the final Chapter of the gospels of the apostles, I am overwhelmed with the song “Just a closer walk with Thee”, which was one of my grandmother’s favorite song. On March 30th she would have been 97 years young. She went to glory in 2004 and I truly really miss that lady. I can still remember how she spoke, her “grandmother” smell – Red Door or White Diamonds, and her love for me. She was a true rock of my foundation as a person, a man, a father, and as a Christian. She was a minster’s wife for over 50 years, in the life and death of my grandfather. It is fitting that the last Chapter and the song complement each other.
While I was reviewing the 21st Chapter, I had a realization that this is the second time that this particular passage has been given to me to review. My journey in this Christian life has taken me to different places and allowed me to interact with many different and amazing people. In 2004, I had the chance to give my summer to service in the Dominican Republic. The people I served did not have running water or electricity. They would not have a dollar to spend for health care or any wants or needs. They were completely impoverished by any standards, but they were the warmest people that I have ever encountered. Their lives reflected God’s grace and they shared that with me. As I completed my mission, I had a special chance to do some spiritual reflections lead by Jesuit brother and he gave me this passage to read.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
What made this reflection even more powerful was the way it was executed: My friends and I met on the beach at sunrise(~ 5am in the morning) and had devotion there. It was almost surreal, you are there on the beach looking out to the ocean and “having breakfast” with Jesus.
After many years, I am amazed to have this passage revealed to me again some profound reflections:
1.) When we have experienced the fullness of Christ, will we forget his awesomeness and return to what we had before. John 21:1-3
2.) Jesus calls us every morning (daily) to spend time with him and have breakfast. A renewing of the body to prepare for the day and journey ahead. John 21:12
3.) Jesus is in the miracle business and will always be looking out for you no matter how far you think you have gone from him. (153 fish is the sign of abundance. Coincidentally this is the number of recorded miracles in all of the gospels.) John 21:6-11
4.) Sometime we should be reminded to do his work and to submit to God’s glory. Its gentle like a father and son with Saturday’s chores. John 21:15-18
5.) God has a purpose for each of us, but he has control and not you or I. John 21:20-23
God, thank you for wanting to spend time with us daily. Help us to be mindful of the time that you have given of to fulfill your mission here. May we keep our focus on you and no other things that can distract us. Amen