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The Path Forward

John 21:18, 19

18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Thinking all is lost after the crucifixion, some of the disciples go fishing on the Sea of Tiberius-a dismal, depressing fishing expedition. Hot, naked, and exhausted, the disciples try valiantly to return to the way things were before they met Jesus. Suddenly a voice from the shore (big rock thrown here): “Catchin’ anything?” “Nah,” they shout back, more depressed than ever. “Then try the other side of the boat!” the voice yells again. Peter stands up to see who this wise guy is. Wait-no, it can’t be-but, yes, it is: the Lord!  Suddenly Peter can’t move fast enough. He leaps into the water, and swims to shore, leaving the others to haul in a miraculous catch. His faith grows three sizes in a matter of minutes. The boundaries of what he thinks God can do explode, and his love and gratitude for what God is doing in Jesus Christ, the Lord of Life, is simply too large to fit in the boat any more.

-From The Godbearing Life by Kenda Creasy Dean and Ron Foster

I was thinking  about what it would look like; going back to life post-pandemic.  Would it look like a depressing fishing trip- hot, naked exhausted as I try to return to the life I had before?  Would I feel like the disciples after Jesus left?

It may seem like there’s no path forwarded which becomes a bigger problem when we realize there’s no path backward.

When Jesus spoke those words, “catchin’ anything?”, the disciples mood was shattered.  Peter couldn’t swim to the shore fast enough when he realized Jesus was on the shore, the disicples in the boat couldn’t pull in all fish in the nets when Jesus said, “try the other side”.

After Jesus cooked them breakfast, while talking to Peter, said “take my hand, follow me, and you will glorify God.  What do we do post-pandemic? What path do we take forward ?  Take Jesus’ hand and follow him.  Then we will know.

Pastor Jim

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