Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Mary C. Earle

There they gave a dinner for him.
—John 21:12

Someone has said that at the heart of Christian practice are a bath (baptism) and a meal (holy communion). In this vignette from the Gospel of John, the disciples are on the Sea of Tiberias, laboring to bring in an astounding catch of fish, so many fish that they cannot haul in the net.

Imagine it: men sore with grief, shattered by Jesus’ death, returning to what they did before they started walking with him. They are in the boat, on the sea, and after a night of fruitless fishing, suddenly they are overcome by the sheer physical weight of all those gleaming, flopping fish. Clearly famine has become feast.

Then the Risen Christ says to them, “Come and have breakfast.” In the Gospel of John, Jesus is often saying, “Come.” It is an open invitation, as faith always is. We like to project a lot of crabbed rules onto faith, when really it is about living. Faith is embodied in our daily actions, in the ways in which we respond to Jesus’ invitation to come with him.

From God’s side of things, the invitation is down to earth. Are you hungry? Come. Are you thirsty? Come. Are you lonely? Come. Are you scared? Come.

The disciples are hungry, thirsty, lonely, scared and overwhelmed. This Jesus who died and is now alive sees that. He knows those longings himself. “Come and I will feed you,” he says to us. “I will help you break your fast from mercy, your fast from joy, your fast from hope and life.”

Come. Come now and always.

Breakfast is served.

May I hear your invitation, and may I join You in the meal. Amen.

Copyright © 2009 Mary Earle.