Fish for Breakfast
Let us pray. May the words in my mouth and the meditation of all of our heart be acceptable in your sight. Oh Lord, our God, our strength and our redeemer.
Easter tide is feeding time. In our Sunday Liturgies, we will go through many of the gospel accounts, but also through the book of Acts. We read about the disciples in the early church and the Book of Acts. Many of those stories are built around the disciples, getting ready and getting together to eat.
That seems to be what was most important in Jesus’s mind as he spent time with his disciples before he returned to the Father.
changing the fishing side
We begin today in the gospel reading with Peter, deciding he’s with a few of the other disciples and they decide to go fishing because they just can’t be bothered to sit around, wants to do something, not sure what’s happening next. So let’s go fishing, let’s go do something. We do that we’re used to. And of course they fish all night and they don’t catch anything. And on the shore in the morning there’s this guy that they see saying, take, take your nets. You didn’t catch anything. Throw it on the other side of the boat.
And sure enough, as soon as they do it, there’s this huge pile of fish. It says 153. We don’t know why that number’s there. It probably has some significance because numbers in the Bible almost always have some kind of significance. The one thing we do know about it is that’s a big pile of fish. Suddenly they realize that guy on the shore that they were looking at. The guy who told them to throw the net on the other side, that’s Jesus. So Peter gets out of the boat and rushes up to Jesus. And they notice also there’s already a fire building and there’s some fish and some bread.
In the post resurrection accounts, fish and bread come up over and over again. We heard about it in the a mass row encounter and the return of the two Emmaus disciples to Jerusalem. Jesus had broken bread with them. When Jesus sees them again in the upper room, he asks for food and they give him fish.
Fish bread, bread, fish. The feeding of the 5,000, the abundance that is available is God. This is the thing that character, this is one of the things that characterizes the post resurrection appearances, is this abundance Of food. When Jesus meets with the disciples, this is to be a hint of what it means to live in the resurrection. And as we go through the, Gospel readings, the Acts readings during these coming weeks. One of the things that comes with that abundance is also an abundance of sharing.
The church gathers around food
When the early church gathers together, there’s a whole lot of sharing of food and other necessaries of life that occurs in those situations. This is to be the mark of a church, of a body of believers, of followers of Christ who lived into the resurrection.
Our own resurrection hasn’t happened yet, but Christ’s resurrection is not just a token of our resurrection and our future, but it’s something that’s meant to be lived. Now when the world says everything is scarce, followers of Christ say, know because of the new life in Christ, there is an abundance of everything. We just need to be able to share that. We need to share what we have to help bring life to others.
Our Old Testament reading, is part of that process where Moses receives the Ten Commandments and Moses talks with God. And there’s a whole sort of series of events that go on there. And at the end of it, we had this account of Moses, Aaron, and a couple of others, and 70 leaders getting together and dining in the presence of God. They eat together. And this is actually a remarkable because if you read the Old Testament through in this period is like, you know, no one can be in God’s presence and live.
And yet, here are these 74, 75 people in God’s presence and living, sharing in God’s generosity. God doesn’t raise his hand against us. I think one of the things that shows us, that shows us is that God takes pleasure when we eat together, when we come together around a meal, and it doesn’t have to be a meal in the church, but when we come together around food, that place is God. Especially when we see it as a gift from God, that our food is a gift from God.
sharing breakfast with each other
Therefore, it’s something for us to share with each other. Just like Jesus has prepared some breakfast, breakfast is already on the go when the disciples pull their boat up on shore and they have to drag the net with all the fish with them. But Jesus also asks the disciples to bring a few of the fish.
Jesus prepares a meal, but then also invites the disciples to participate in the preparation of that Jesus. Jesus invites us to participate today. Sometimes it’s in the form of meals, but it’s also in seeing where Jesus is working in the world around us, right outside our dorm room. And it requires generosity, whether that be financial, whether that be effort, whether that just be time. We are called to be generous. We are called as we participate in the work that Christ is already doing in the world, we are called to enter into that work.
In the spirit of generosity, the disciples, when they came over that boat, they were probably tired from a night full of fishing that had resulted in nothing. And then they had this big catch of fish, which would’ve been a fair bit of work just to get it to the shore, even though it’s not that far away. Jesus invites them for breakfast. Jesus has breakfast waiting. He feeds them. He asks them to participate in that breakfast by sharing some of their fish as well. Jesus is already there waiting and expecting, and we should be too. We should be waiting and expecting those who are hungry.
Meeting the Hungry
You know, they may not come in these doors. It may not be the people who come to the Graham Avenue on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s people that we’re going to run into every day at work. As we’re traveling from one place to another, there will be hungry people. Sometimes it will be physical hunger, but there will be people who are hungry to be welcomed and accepted, people who are hungry for a community.
Today we gather around a meal, and I think you can say from a food perspective, it’s not much of a meal. It’s just a little bit of wafer and a tiny sip of wine. So, from a food perspective, it’s not much of a deal. But what it is, it’s a sharing, it’s an act of community, it’s an act of togetherness, and it’s that active community and active togetherness that we should be carrying with us. Once we leave here,
We are called to take the bread, and the wine. Sometimes the bread and the fish that God has given us so generously, and to share it with all who are hungry. Amen.