Jesus Waits

footprints

One of the last images of Jesus before his arrest is of him bending down to wash the feet of his disciples. One of the first images of Jesus after his resurrection is of him standing on the shore while his disciples are out in a boat fishing. He stands on the shore, waiting. He throws out a question to them across the water.  Have you caught anything, friends.  No, they hadn’t. So he tells them where to throw out their nets and they catch more fish than they could haul. He calls them friends. Some of them are the same friends whose feet he washed just a few days ago. But somehow he is different. They do not recognize him yet.

But then John, the disciple Jesus loved, does recognize him. He tells Peter it is their Lord. With this the ever passionate and exuberant Peter wraps his cloak around him, jumps out of the boat, slogging through the water, rushing to the shore where Jesus waits. There is something about this action of Peter that is so touching. It is so human. Peter who had been afraid to even admit he knew Jesus during his arrest and trial, now is so overcome with joy that he jumps out of the boat, into the water, in order to get to the shore where Jesus waits. Jesus will soon give Peter a chance to redeem himself. The others remain in the boat, perhaps taking it all in, incredulous, making sure the boat and their catch gets to the shore. They all in their own way bring themselves to Jesus. To meet him as he is, transformed and yet capable of building a fire and cooking fish, once again breaking bread with those who were his own in the world. Those who now understood and are given this very ordinary extraordinary moment of a simple breakfast with the risen Lords. Another meal where Jesus once again serves them. Another meal that is very different from the last they had together.

Jesus cooks them breakfast! Come, he says and invites them to eat.  He serves them bread and fish. Such a simple, ordinary thing to do after such extraordinary events of the past three days. Much is made of Jesus coming back in glory. But this is not the story John tells. It is the story of a man restored to life by the one he called Father who goes to those he loved and lived with in the world and meets them where they are. Working at their trade, fishing, walking on a road, searching for him in a garden and even those hiding in an upper room.

Jesus stands on the shore of our lives, calling us to himself, to be with him in the most ordinary of ways, meeting us where we are, pointing the way to a life of abundance. The abundance of our lives transformed by the Lord into that which will nourish and sustain us as we go about the business of our lives.

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