Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Summer 15 John 21:1-19 "Peter's Picnic"

 John 21:1-19 Peter's Picnic

What is the weirdest sandwich you have had?

Peter's sandwich was a roller coaster ride between two miraculous catches of fish, or two calls from Jesus.

Even Peter, the overweight Labrador of disciples, couldn't fail to spot the message here. "Boat - Stranger - Nets - Fish - Call" ring any bells?

Our sandwiches. Jesus called us. "You did not choose me..." . Remember when he called you? At church? At home? Youth group? Holiday? Ironing? Work? To PETER he'd said, "I have a job for you... Not fishermen but Fishers of men. Did he say something like that to us? What happened to us?

His' call is permanent. However PETER's sandwich had a rather patchy filling. He had messed up in the meantime, You know the ham that has lots of gristle, the chicken bone. The black banana. The unexplained long black hair? Jesus re-calls him. Ever happen to you? We give up on ourselves, we assume he gives up on us. But his love and patience far outstrip ours.

And something wakes up in Peter. That impulsive love that blurted out " you are the Christ. The son of the living God" at Caesarea Philippi, that wanted to build the stupid shelters on the mount of transfiguration, that propelled him to walk to Jesus on the water, that cut off the high priest's servants ear, that wept bitter tears of shame at the trial courtyard; woke again. This is what he wanted. This is who he wanted. He leapt at the chance. The fish. The boat. The friends. This time he takes his coat with him. All forgotten for Jesus. 

But this time it has to be different. This time it matters. It's not just about how well Peter will do. Not about his good reputation. Not about his competition with John. The sandwich had cooperation rather that competition too you see. The three questions "Do You Love Me?" are not about reminding Peter of his triple failure. Not about cleansing 3 sins with 3 challenges. They are about stressing the "sheep". Its they who are the threefold focus. They are " my" lambs, says Jesus. They are your work.
Are they ours?

Jesus call is personal.
Jesus call is permanent.
Jesus call is persistent.
Jesus call is purposeful.

Our call.
My call.
Young, old, in work or out, well or sick, flying or sinking... He who called you is faithful.

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