Easter 3 Year C 2022
O god, whose blessed son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
Be still and know
Be still and
What grounds you? Where do you find your anchor in the swirling storm of uncertainty?
For some it is coming within these walls, the predictability of our liturgy, a space where you can be embraced, held, be who you are and fall apart.
You know where you are and it’s a space where you can get your feet back under you.
For the disciples, the thing that grounded them was fishing.
In the midst of their uncertainty, they claimed their family training their family vocation, where they felt most at home, they knew they could be who they were.
On the water, in a boat, with each other.
Remember how many encounters occur with the divine on water?
Creation began with the waters and the land being separated.
Noah was saved from water in his ark
Moses floated down the same river that his people were later given safe passage through
Jacob met his future wife at a well
Jesus was baptized in the Jordan and it is at the banks of the Galilee that the disciples were called into this new family.
It is with water that Jesus heals the blind, commands others to go and wash, and today, he even uses water to make wine.
This day, the 7 disciples get into the boat, they go back to the familiar, their old habits.
And while comfort might have been granted, peace may have been given,
their labors for fish are in vain.
Their night spent.
Their nets are empty.
Much like Holy Saturday, the waters are still.
A new dawn changes things.
On the new dawn, Jesus appears to them.
Sends them fishing on the other side… (Mathew and Luke have this happening earlier in their gospels…. In the midst of Jesus’ teaching. John is doing something different here.)
With this new endeavor, their nets burst with fish, burst with fruits of their labor.
The familiar in a new way.
They are invited again for a meal
Gathering around a fire once again and a spark of life igniting, rekindled.
Recognition of the divine, the miraculous, their savior…….
The old ways transformed through a simple invitation.
Jesus feeds them.
Much like he did before, sitting around and eating fish at the early hour, Jesus is with them once again at table.
Gathering a fire that provides nourishment and affirmation, replacing confusion and denial.
The disciples are ready to listen, to be fed both spiritually and physically again.
In the midst of their confusion and attempts to figure out the past week of Jesus life and death, they hear the familiar voice, the gift of the peace that passes all understanding, the knowledge that they were both beloved and not alone.
Jesus finds them, feeds them, and forgives them for their confusion, their doubts and Peter’s denials.
When a child does something wrong, we correct the action and invite them to try again in a new way. Much like a child, Jesus invites Peter, with love and affirmation, to try again in a new way.
Rather than a profession of faith, Jesus calls Peter into a new action… feeding.
In three years, the disciples have seen the Lord in action
Seen the lord in pain and sorrow,
Seen the lord, now, in resurrected glory.
Now he sends Peter out to feed god’s sheep.
Once famished and fatigued, Peter is now fed, forgiven and commanded to go and feed god’s people.
Return to the water, but in a new way
Return to fishing but fish for people
Return to the familiar to be reminded that we are called to live in a new way, to be family and to bear fruit in new ways, anchored in hope.
Each of us have our own call.
While we may not have been called from fishing as our vocation, we all return to the water. Each time we come into this space we pass by the baptismal font, where we are reminded of the waters of our baptism, the joy of those baptisms we have experienced since, and our own promises that we have confirmed or our parents and godparents made on our behalf.
And we return, we come back to the familiar.
We return to the table, just like the disciples did.
Return to the table to be reminded that we are part of a family.
We arrive fatigued and famished.
We arrive in need of forgiveness
We arrive broken and unconvinced of our own worthiness.
And around this table we are reminded that we are both forgiven and fed.
Around the table we are accepted just as we are.
AND with that restoration we are in turn to go out into the world and live that faith in action, feed others.
Perhaps, for you, this is in serving at the Kearney Center
Perhaps that is in praying with our Pastoral Care Shepherds
Perhaps that is in baking cookies for an upcoming event
Perhaps that is in serving in liturgy as a Eucharistic Minister or acolyte
Perhaps that is in smiling at a stranger and wishing them a good day in the midst of your day.
Know this, You have received God’s love, forgiveness, and can be transformed.
Today, our first graders will gather around the railing for Festal Eucharist. All year they have been reflecting on God’s story of love in scripture. They have also talked about their own understanding of God and baptisms. Each time they gathered they opened in prayer and closed with snack….
Much like the disciples, doing the familiar and remembering not only who they are but whose they are.
We gather here in the familiar to be held, to find peace, to be forgiven and to know that God is present.
Jesus accepts us exactly as we are, just as he did with Peter, and invites us to be transformed by God.
We, too, are redefined by a grace and mercy that changes our whole perspective and compels us to go and do, to remember and share that God’s only son came so that he might take our brokenness, bless it and return us restored so that in turn we might do the same.
How might you, too, fish from a different side of the boat?
How might you, too, feed God’s sheep?
What is it you plan to do, in the words of Mary Oliver, with your one wild and precious life?[i]
Will you like peter, jump out of the boat and respond with wild abandonment?