Fish on the Fire
One of my favorite passages of scripture is at the tail end of the Gospels. In John chapter 21 we experience Jesus and the miraculous catch of fish. The disciples were fishing all night and caught nothing. In the morning Jesus was on the shore and he yelled out to them, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” Having been fishing all night long they had to have been thinking that the right side would never work. However, they hauled in so many fish that the net was bursting! Some people think that the miraculous catch of fish was the greatest thing that happened in this encounter between Jesus and his disciples. However, my personal opinion (and only that) is that his fellowship with them shortly after was the greatest thing! As the disciples docked their boat on the shore this is what we read, beginning in verse 8.
“The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from the shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish you have just caught.’ Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ None of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.”
The fish fry on the shore with Jesus and his best friends provides me with a powerful image in my heart. Breakfast together as the sun was rising, the waves crashing against the land in front of them. It makes me think of my summer vacations with family to Edisto Island in South Carolina. Becca and I, at least a couple of times over the coures of our week, will watch the sun rise as the waves calmly flow in from hundreds of miles away. I think about what that would have been like to have a fire going and to share a meal with Jesus. My favorite meal of the day is breakfast and one of my favorite places in the world is the beach. It is a perfect set up! Is it so unthinkable though to take time out of our lives to set up intimate and unique fellowship with our Savior? Just because we don’t feel his PHYSICAL presence doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to create powerful m0ments of relationship building with the God who created us, the Jesus who died for us, and the Holy Spirit who lives and breathes through us today.
Yesterday afternoon I arrived home after 5 hours at the office and decided on a unique experience. I cleaned house for a while, with my wife in mind, and then in the freezing cold outside I began building a fire in our backyard fire pit. I put on plenty of layers, built the fire nice and high, and then began to relax. The wind was stiff but the fire was warm. The smell of the burning wood brought forth a sense of peace in my day. While I was relaxing I found myself thinking about my relationship with Christ and decided to get creative. I placed some fish that we had in the freezer in some foil with some oil and spices and I put the fish on the open fire! A half hour later the fish was hot and smelled so wonderful. My wife arrived home and we shared some time by the fire with our dogs running around us. We went inside and enjoyed some prayer time and a great meal together in the kitchen. The fellowship with Jesus was creative and the relationship building with my wife was sweet. It made for a perfect evening….probably similar to what the disciples felt early in the morning with Jesus. What is it for you? What would add some spice to your relationship with Jesus Christ? For me Fish on the Fire works just fine. Amen.