Our season of Eastertide is drawing to a close. Do you sense a change in the air? Do you feel the anticipation of the coming friend/helper/another whom Jesus promised would come to us?
In John’s telling of the time after Jesus’ Resurrection, our friend Peter does what he knows how to do, he goes fishing. Can you picture the scene: Peter and the others are sitting around pondering what the previous days have held for them and what the future will be. How do they continue to follow Jesus if Jesus isn’t physically present? How do they live this new life Jesus talked about when the world around them looks just like it did before? The Romans are still in charge, there are still corrupt individuals among the Temple leaders, and they had given up everything to spend the last three years following Jesus and what do they have to show for it?
And, so, Peter does what Peter knows to do, announcing to the group, “I’m going fishing” to which they reply, “We’ll go with you.” They spend all night on the boat and catch nothing. As they are coming to shore, Jesus is there, telling them they’d been looking in all the wrong places to find what they are looking for. And after doing as he instructs and bringing in the largest haul of their lives, Jesus invites them to breakfast.
The conversation between Jesus and Peter following their shared meal is the most telling and tender exchange between teacher and disciple. In a three-fold question and response that mirrors and redeems Peter’s three verbal denials of knowing Jesus, Jesus answers their pondering of “what now?”
Do you love me? Yes. Feed my lambs.
Do you love me? Yes, you know I do. Show your love for me by taking care of my sheep.
Do you love me? Stop asking, it’s making me uncomfortable, just trust what I say and let’s get on with what’s next. Feed my sheep.
What now? What’s next? How do we follow Jesus without Jesus being physically present? We love. We feed. We care for. The very actions that Jesus did with the disciples are the actions that we do as we follow him.
We live in Jesus’ Resurrection now by looking not to the world for direction but to God’s love for all.
We live in Jesus’ Resurrection now by letting go of our way and walking Jesus’ Way.
We live in Jesus’ Resurrection now by participating with God to make life on earth as it is in heaven.
The Resurrection isn’t a season we move through or an event we simply celebrate and honor each Sunday. It is the life Jesus calls us to live in the here and now, following him as Resurrection People every moment of every day.