Grill-chef Jesus, recently risen from the dead, had all he needed to make a hearty breakfast for his grieving friends. He wanted to both comfort and empower them, to feed their souls from his own hand, just as he had done with the bread and wine at their last supper together.
When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore… Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” – John 21:9-12 (NRSV)
In the pre-dawn darkness, he had scrounged together some bread and fish. Then he had gone to the beach, built a fire, and placed the food over the coals just so. While the food was grilling, he watched his heartbroken friends, at sea in every sense, searching for solace in their old ways but coming up empty. Literally.
Jesus shouted to them to cast their net on the other side of the boat. And then he waited as they struggled to drag their abundant catch to the shore.
By the time they arrived, breakfast was ready. Jesus had plenty of fish, grilled to perfection, and still he told them to bring some of the fish they had just caught. Why?
Because when who we are is acknowledged, when what we have is desired, we remember that—whatever our situation or status—we have something to offer. Something the world needs. Because when we bring all of who we are to the table, both we and the meal are the richer for it.
All-Sufficient God, thank you for inviting me to share my gifts.
Discussion Guide Questions
- When have your gifts been welcomed and valued?
- Have you experienced the rejection or oversight of your talents, of your presence, of your identity?
- In your imagination, what was the impact of Jesus making room on the grill for the freshly caught fish the disciples brought from their boats?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vicki Kemper is the Pastor of First Congregational, UCC, of Amherst, Massachusetts.