“Breakfast, Fish & Sheep”
Sermon: “Breakfast, Fish & Sheep”
Rev. Glenn G. Grant
Kirkridge Presbyterian Church
Transcription from May 08, 2022
Sermon transcription is automatically generated. Please forgive any grammatical errors.
Two weeks ago, my sermon title was locks and bagels, and nobody questioned the fact that I never mentioned bagels at all that day.
I don't know whether people just don't look at their bulletins, or maybe they weren't paying attention to the sermon, but, uh, that was titled that way because it really was intended to be the first of a two-part sermon. And today is the second part. See, it's not often that you get a two-part sermon is separated by a week.
Two weeks ago, the story was about Jesus appearing to the disciples behind locked doors. Today is about breakfast. Today's text was about Jesus serving the disciples breakfast on the shore of Galilee. And we kind of go through this passage quickly and we don't even think about what's really going on.
I mean, first of all, Peter and James and John and the others we're all out fishing, they went right back to what they had always been doing before. And as in another instance, recorded in the gospels, they had not caught anything. Professional fishermen back in their home waters and they hadn't caught anything.
Now, I know we've got a couple of fishermen here, well, at least one fish here. What's it like when you go out fishing and don't catch anything? “(Jeff) You stay longer.” But see it's called fishing, not catching. Right? “(Jeff) But catching is the important part.” At least in your mind. See, they have been out fishing all night and caught nothing and a hundred yards offshore they heard this voice hollering out to them. You haven't caught anything have you? No? Put your nets on the other side of the boat.
From a hundred yards away. How would anybody be able to tell that there was fish on the other side of the boat? But they did, as they were told and they had a huge catch. Now this is not the first time in the gospels that there is a miraculous catch recorded either. And then of course I say, ah, it's the Lord. And they come to the shore, Peter being impetuous, Peter just jumps in. And I've been to that part of the Sea or Tiberius or the sea of Galilee, whichever name you want to use for it. And it says they were about a hundred yards offshore. You can walk that far and never get wet above mid chest.
So, Peter jumps in comes rushing into shore leaves, the others to do all the work. And it comes rushing in. And when the disciples get in there, Jesus already has a fire going with fish on it. Now, how did he get the fish? And he has bread or maybe it was a bagel. So here he is with breakfast all ready for them as they come off the lake. Now Jesus, this isn't the first time Jesus fed his followers with bread and fish either is it?
So, this story is really a summation of a lot of things that came earlier in Jesus' ministry. And it's a reminder to the disciples of what they had been through while they were following him.
And just in case we forget that this is meant to me a reminder, after they had eaten, Jesus goes to Peter and says, Peter, do you love me? Once, twice, three times. I do not know the man. I don't know him.
You know where that's going… Peter denied Jesus three times and now Jesus is giving Peter three chances to say, I love you, Lord.
So, this whole passage is a wrap up of everything that had gone before and bringing it full cycle, because now after the resurrection, after the crucifixion, after the denials, after everything else, Jesus is giving Peter a chance to redeem himself.
But it doesn't come with just a chance to redeem himself. And this is where it's important for all of us who claim to be Christians, who claim to be disciples of Jesus, is that Peter, in spite of all of his shortcomings, his impetuousness, his denials, all that. When he told Jesus, he shouldn't go to Jerusalem, all of those things, and Jesus is saying, Peter, feed my sheep, tend my lambs, take care of my people.
So, in our own lives, we have all these times where we maybe have fallen short of what we claim as Christians. We don't necessarily do what we know Jesus would have us do. Remember a few years back, there was all that WWJD bracelets and everything else.
And we forget all of that conveniently most of the time, you know, when it's not convenient for us to act as Jesus would have us act, we forget it.
So, we have all of this and just to go with this in our reading from acts this morning, we have Jesus calling out to Saul and saying Saul, Saul why do you persecute me? Get up, enter the city and you will be told what to do. Even Saul after persecuting the followers of Jesus got a second chance. Saul renamed Paul was called by Christ to become a totally new person and to work for God's way in this world, instead of against it. Both of these passages should remind each and every one of us, no matter what has gone wrong in our lives, no matter when we have fallen short, no matter when we have sinned by commission or omission.
That we like Peter and like Saul, are being called back to living our lives as Christ would have us live to feed God's children, to take care of the lambs and the sheep. And of course, we're not talking about the kind that we sheer for sweaters.
These texts wrap up all of what the Easter story is all about, because it's all about God's love and grace bestowed on us in spite of all of our human foibles.
And that should, that should, make every single one of us happy. It should make us happy, not just haha happy. It should make us joy filled to know that in spite of all of what we mess up in life.
We are still called by Christ to live out our lives as followers, living lives in such a way that instead of saying, what would Jesus do? People would look at us and say, that's what Jesus would have done.
That's what Jesus would have done. That's what people should see when they see us. That's what Jesus would have done. And yeah, sometimes that may even mean we're serving breakfast to somebody that wasn't expecting it.
You know, where the modern-day equivalent of this breakfast on the sea of Tiberius is? It's in fellowship hall after worship, but instead of having fish and bread, we have coffee and cookies.
But it's a reminder that we can be brought together in Christ. That's what that fellowship is all about. And yes, fellowship is part of our worship of God.
So that's important, just as important as the way we fellowship with our neighbors when we're in line at Kroger, or Walmart, or Aldi, or wherever you go shopping. It's just as important as fellowshipping with folks that you meet on the street. You know that neighbor that you never get to talk to because the garage door goes up, the car pulls out, the garage door goes down.
And later the garage door goes up, the car pulls in the garage door goes down. You know, those people you haven't seen since last October. And now the weather's nice. The way you fellowship with them should be an example of what Jesus would be doing in the same situation.
So let us live our lives as though Jesus set us an example. That we're trying to follow the best we can. Amen.