Casting Our Nets

John 21:1-21

“After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.
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. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.”  NRSV

During our quarantine, we have creatively substituted whatever we have on hand for our communion elements in our virtual worship. While I am sure bread is common among us, I’m guessing a jug of Welch’s is a little less common. As I have repeatedly reminded us, its not the emblems that are important, it is what they represent to us that matters.

In this third, post-resurrection appearance in John, Jesus meets some of the disciples on the seashore. This time the meal they share is not bread and wine at a table set for twelve, but bread and fish over an impromptu campfire. Apparently, Jesus had to be a little creative at times, too. All that matters, regardless of what is set upon the table, is that at the moment the bread is broken we can declare with John, “It is the Lord!”

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