Breakfast with Jesus

Friday in the Octave of Easter
April 14, 2023

Today’s Readings:

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we once again have readings sprinkled with the names of ancient people who lived in the immediate Resurrection light.

In our first reading from Acts:

After the crippled man had been cured,
while Peter and John were still speaking to the people,
the priests, the captain of the temple guard,
and the Sadducees confronted them,
disturbed that they were teaching the people
and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.

Acts 4:1-2
  • Peter and John, courageously, exuberantly sharing the Word
  • Annas, the retired but still influential high priest to whom Jesus was first brought when arrested
  • Caiaphas, the reigning high priest, who plotted to kill Jesus, condemned him for blasphemy, and sent him for judgment to Pilate
  • John and Alexander, less known priestly trainees, but known well enough to have their names recorded

Christ Before Caiaphas- Matthias Stom

In our Gospel, John names some of the group lolling along the beach one day. It’s interesting how he remembers and identifies them as he tells the story many years later:

  • Simon Peter – remembered with both his original and later Christ-given name
  • Thomas called Didymus – a name meaning “twin”, who was his twin and why is he never mentioned as a disciple?
  • Nathanael from Cana in Galilee – identified here by his home town of Cana. Had it been at his home, perhaps his wedding, that Christ’s first miracle occurred?
  • Zebedee’s sons – John, writer of the Gospel identifies himself and his brother (James) only by their relationship to their very influential father
  • two others of his disciples – what about these two? Why has John, who was there, conveniently forgotten their names? Were they women, whom custom often left unnamed and perhaps overlooked?

Breakfast with Jesus – C.Michael Dudash

These readings offer us rich opportunities to chose one of these people and sit with them as they condition their hearts to the overwhelming truth of the Resurrection.

How does each one respond to their redeemed reality? We have the same choice these ancient persons had. Do we:

  • live and preach the Good News by our choices, as Peter and John did?
  • resist its call to us like the high priests?
  • dive whole-heartedly toward Jesus like half-clad Peter?
  • surrender our doubts and finally believe like Thomas?
  • invite Jesus into our life, home and celebrations like Nathaniel may have?
  • realize how our elders have gifted us with faith and honor them as Zebedee’s sons did?

And what about the “two others of his disciples” left in the unnamed shadows of history? Perhaps we are more like them – quietly doing, praying, loving, hoping to respond with humble hearts to the Easter gift we have been given.

This morning, let’s sit beside Jesus and his barbecued fish to talk about it. Let’s listen to what he hopes for and loves in us.

Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.”
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?”
because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples
after being raised from the dead.

John 21:12-14

Poetry:  Jesus Makes Breakfast: A Poem about John 21:1-14 
– by Carol Penner, Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario.

I could smell that charcoal fire a long way off
while we were still rowing far from shore.
As we got closer I could smell the fish cooking,
I imagined I could hear it sizzling.
When you’re hungry, your mind works that way.

When the man by the fire called out asking us about our catch,
we held up the empty nets.
And his advice to throw the nets in once more
is something we might have ignored,
except for the smell of cooking fish…
this guy must know something  about catching fish!

The catch took our breath away;
never in my life have we pulled so many in one heave.
I was concentrating on the catch,
but John wasn’t even paying attention,
he was staring at the shore
as if his life depended on it.
Then he clutched my shoulder, crying,
“It is the Lord!”

Suddenly, everything came into focus,
the man, the catch, the voice,
and nothing could stop me,
I had to be with the Master.

There were no words at breakfast,
beyond, “Pass the fish,”
or “I’ll have a bit more bread.”
We sat there, eating our fill,
basking in the sunrise.
We didn’t have to say anything.
Jesus just smiled and served.

Music: Spend some time on that morning beach with Jesus:

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