Breakfast on the beach.
This is the fourth resurrection account in the book of John. The previous two, to the disciples, were behind closed doors and the first was in the garden when Jesus appeared to Mary.
The disciples have finally plucked up the courage to leave hiding behind shut doors and ventured out into the open air. What are they going to do now? Simon Peter breaks the awkward silence and announces that he is going fishing, the others follow.
They returning to the security of what they were doing before Jesus called them. But it doesn’t work. They fished all night long but caught nothing, their nets as empty as their hopes and dreams of what could have been.
They hear a voice shouting to them from the shore, it may have seemed like a teasing thing to say ‘you’ve have no fish, have you?’, had it not been prefixed with the tenderness of the word ‘Children’. It is with compassion and kindness that Jesus meets with his dejected disciples not criticism and admonishment.
Why such a simple solution as changing the side where they cast their nets from made such a difference we are not told, but what a difference it makes! The net is now too full to haul into the boat so they have to drag it ashore.
They are met by the resurrected Jesus who has already got a charcoal fire going on the beach with fish cooking on it, which he shares with them along with some bread. Echoes of that other story of abundance when Jesus feeds the five thousand.
These dejected disciples had finally headed outdoors but they had gone to the past rather than the future that Jesus intended for them. It’s the most natural thing to do in the world when we feel threatened or insecure – to return to what we know and find familiar even if it no longer works for us.
But to follow Jesus requires a moving forward into a different future for His disciples, one that leads to abundant life to be made available to others, even if at great cost to themselves.
This Lent and Easter we have just journeyed with the fishing community of Tabugon island in the Philippines. A changing climate and illegal fishing means they are having to change how they have lived for generations.
Leaving the old ways behind they now patrol the waters to protect fish stocks from overfishing, they have build a protective reef and are planting mangroves to adapt to a changing climate. Their actions are demonstrating the new way that leads to a sustainable future for all.
Thank you that
even when we have given up
and returned to the old ways,
you show up
and show us another way.
Great is your faithfulness,
Continue to pray for ICODE, our partner in the Philippines that they would know the solidarity and support from their sisters and brothers around the world. Pray for climate justice for them and for all who are facing the brunt of the changing climate across the world.
Pray for communities’ Christian Aid partners who are disappointed by setbacks in their work. Pray that they would know encouragement to continue and to try new things.
Give thanks for the work of our partner CASM in Honduras and pray that they will continue to help small-scale farmers to flourish in the face of a changing climate.
More points for prayer available in the prayer diary
Published on 30 April 2019