Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
I pray the joy of this season continues to fill your hearts and homes in this third week of Easter. One practice to help assist you in living into it comes from our collect for this week, printed above. The collect is a prayer immediately before the readings during Sunday worship that collects the theme of the week.
This week the collect echoes the gospel reading from John 21:1-14, wherein the disciples encounter Jesus, for the third time since His Resurrection, over breakfast by the Sea of Galilee. According to John’s account, this is the final meeting they have with Jesus before His departure back into heaven. Jesus finds the disciples back in familiar waters, pun intended, where their ministry began several years prior. It was there that Jesus called them away from their nets to be fishers of men. Perhaps foreshadowing what would come at Pentecost, the disciples haul in quite the catch after following Jesus’ direction to them after a fruitless night of fishing. In the book of Acts we see that the disciples would indeed haul in quite the catch for the Kingdom of God as the Holy Spirit continued to lead and guide them as the Church began.
I would encourager you to reread the passage this week. As you do so, begin by reflecting upon how the disciples may have felt. They may have had uncertainty about what comes next. They seemed to be at a loss of direction as Jesus’ mission had been fulfilled and theirs was just about to begin. You may also want to explore what it meant for them as they encountered Jesus. Why did he tell them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat? Why do you think Peter sprang into the sea to get to Jesus? (Hint: Remember what he did a few weeks prior on the night before Jesus died.) How do you think they felt when the broke bread with Jesus once again?
After gaining context and asking your own questions that arise, explore what it means for you. Can you relate to the disciples? What can you learn from them? How can you find guidance in times of uncertainty, and what do you feel you can do to advance the Kingdom as Jesus’ disciple? You may want to get into a discussion about evangelism. How can you be a fisher of men? What are ways you can engage others and tell them about Jesus? What difficulties arise in doing so?
Perhaps you and your family could explore it as you break bread together. Maybe you could do so over a fun and special meal. To really set the mood, you could do so over a fish fry! I recall that at one point Stevie’s Diner, located by the church, used to have a fish fry on Friday nights. Find a fun way to engage this season of Easter together and discover what God has in store for you when you press into His Word and seek to follow Him.