After the hoopla is over—all the build up, preparation, energy and excitement—what do we do after Easter Sunday?! As a pastor and staff person I can tell you that we just about fall out. Honestly, we’re tired and in many ways Easter is over in our minds. For most of us (Christians) we can very easily slink back into life before the cross, before the empty tomb, and live as if nothing has really changed. Its easy, sadly, and it happens to more of us than we like to admit.
In John 21.3–14, Peter and disciples revert back to “life before,” and we find Peter saying something that many of us have said in various ways. “I’m going fishing,” he says. And the others joined him. This event takes place after the resurrection but before the coming of the Holy Spirit. In this awkward period in their lives (a period we give little thought to), the disciples are living in-between their hearts being ripped out from His death, the wonder but almost-too-big-for-their-brains resurrection, and their faith being fully restored through the empowering Holy Spirit filling their hearts later. In the midst of ALL THIS they do the one thing they know to do; the thing that comes naturally; the thing that requires their own effort and self-reliance. Its what they know.
But, Jesus shows up at the conclusion of a VERY unsuccessful fishing trip and shows His power by filling their nets with fish. Not only that, but he calls to the shore and feeds them breakfast on the beach. What’s telling is that he doesn’t use any of the fish they caught, but provides fish (and bread) from His own stock. This is how God operates, feeding us from His own life, His own sustenance, His own self. God gives what only God can give.
But there’s one more thing. The kind of fish that Jesus laid out on the grill for breakfast is different from what they’ve caught. In fact, the only other time we find the Greek word for the kind of fish Jesus gives them in earlier in John’s Gospel, at the feeding of the multitude. Jesus used that same kind of fish (and bread) to multiply for the needs of the many. Again, God gives of Himself. He honors our catch and has mercy on our coming-up-with-nothing. But we all—the masses and the disciples—must come to the table of the Lord. It is God that feeds us like no one else. It is a divine, multiplying, filling meal that Jesus offers.
Do not live like nothing has changed, because it has. God has called us away from life before the great an glories resurrection. Let us embrace the resurrection life and participate wholly in what a Spirit-led life. Pentecost is coming. Are you ready to really live? Get ready. Come, Holy Spirit.