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May 3

John 21, 9-14

Something to read

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, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, 'Come and have breakfast.' Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, 'Who are you?' because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

New Revised Standard Version

Something to think about

The disciples are nervous at this breakfast by the lake with the Risen Christ. After all, they were still amazed that Jesus was risen. If he was risen, then he was indeed all he said he was – and thus they were, like Moses before the burning bush, in the presence of the Son of the Living God.

And yet, the God-Man Jesus does not act in any awesome manner one expects of the Almighty. He instead makes breakfast, passes out food, and treats them as companions, not devotees.

This is the absurdity that is built into the Christian faith. It is upside down. The Greeks and Romans found it absurd that a bunch of heretical Jews would believe such a story. The gods do not eat breakfast with mortals. The gods don't even eat. Yet, the revelation of Jesus Christ is that God is not what we think he is, not even close.

Something to do

Give out food. You can do this in many ways. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen. You can give a homeless person a sandwich and drink. You can leave food at a drop-in centre or a food bank. You can go on a volunteer trip almost anywhere in the world.

When you do this, see the person as being a manifestation of Christ – and think of the giving as giving something to Christ. Think of this as a form of communion. It is in our doing rather than in our thinking we often encounter the living God.

Something to pray

O Thou most holy and beloved, our Companion upon the way, our bright Morning Star, we give you thanks for the bread of heaven and the cup of salvation that you offer us at your table. Grant us the gift to share this feast with others, so that we may be your priests and ministers in the world. We ask this in your holy name. Amen.

Today's contributor is the Rev James Matarazzo Jr, a United Church of Christ (USA) minister from Boston, Massachusetts. He moved to London in 2007. Jim is a founding member of INERELA+ (International Network of Religious Leaders Living with and Affected by HIV and AIDS), a Christian Aid partner. He is now working on a DPhil in Systematic Theology at Oxford University.

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