Hi everyone. Rob here.
I had taken my shoes off and was ankle deep in the fresh water of the Sea of Galilee when I turned to one of my travelling companions and said,
This feels holy.
What made me say that? We were at the spot where Jesus the Risen One, made breakfast for his friends and restored Peter after he had denied him 3 times. There was certainly a sense of awe that the Risen Christ had stood where I was standing. But it was more than that. It was more than a sentimental feeling about a past event, even if that event was world-changing. It was the deep knowledge that he still lives. He is alive and active in his world and you and I are invited to get on board with what he’s doing right now! It was also an invitation to trust him. Jesus knows what he’s doing in the world, in my life, in every life. The sense of holiness came from the realisation that I was encountering Jesus, alive and active, in that place too. I too was hearing him say, “follow me!”
I love the very human and very intimate picture of the Risen Jesus making breakfast for his friends on the shores of the lake. It tells me that as I seek to follow him today, he still invites me into loving friendship and close intimacy. It wasn’t just Peter being restored that day. That act was an act of restoration for all of them who were there. The act of eating the fish sandwiches made by the One who was dead and who is now alive, was an act of vulnerability and courage. They all knew that he was the one deserving of a feast in his honour, a banquet for a king, but he cooked for them. He honoured them. He offered this loving act to them, and out of that intimacy came resolve and courage. They followed him to the end of their days.
Following Jesus is not like trying to follow a car on the LA freeway or a tour guide in Jerusalem. It’s close, intimate, personal. It comes from knowing that he poured himself out for us, so that we can be his intimate allies, his brothers and sisters as he shows us how to be sons and daughters in his Father’s estate. That level of restoration means that we fell an awfully long way. It also means that if Jesus was willing to pay THAT price, we are loved beyond measure. Receiving that love, experiencing that love and naming that love is what we are now made for. Jesus called it remaining in his love. Do that and following him just happens.
So I choose to meditate at the foot of the cross. I surrender my sinful self there. But I also choose to meditate at a fish barbecue on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. There I am restored into an infinite, unbreakable love that flows down into my feet that will forever follow The Risen One.
Grace and peace everyone.