Welcome to all after what I hope was a restful Holy Week and Easter break. While the break was much needed and appreciated, I’m a bit disoriented by the resultant changes in pace: from the whirlwind of the wonderful school play to Easter Eucharists, the close of some sports seasons and the start of others, to 10 days of calm and reflection … and then back into the whirlwind of the hockey festival, netball festival, end-of-term services and other activities.
I wonder whether the disciples’ experience was similar: from going about their daily lives, some of them fishing for a living, to the whirlwind of following Jesus for three years, 24 hours a day; having their worldview changed by the way Jesus interpreted the scriptures and challenged the religious authorities of the day. And then suddenly he was gone: arrested, whipped, killed on a cross, and the disciples themselves were wanted men and women.
How at a loss they must have felt, amid their grief. There was nothing for it but to go back, shell-shocked, to fishing – and to add to their woes, they caught no fish.
Then came a command from the shore that they could not ignore: “Cast your nets to the other side of the boat!” Why hadn’t they seen that huge shoal before? They tried desperately to pull in the fish on to their small boat with their little nets. “It’s the Lord!” cried one of the disciples, which was all it took for the ever-impulsive Simon Peter to jump into the water and swim to shore. The astonished disciples managed to haul their catch ashore where they shared breakfast with the Lord. (John 21:1-12)
What strikes me is that the disciples recognised Jesus in their ordinary, everyday lives when things were going awry. Similarly, we haven’t left Jesus behind on Easter Sunday, a separate event from our daily lives.
Christ is still present with us – we have but to recognise the risen Christ in all that surprises us each day. Importantly, we also need to stop and reflect, each day, on those times when Christ surprises us (and perhaps we haven’t noticed?) in much the same way as the disciples had breakfast with the Lord after a hard night’s work.