Sunday, April 08, 2018

Shore Lunch With Jesus

What do we want on our tombstone? For a long while I've had the thought of "Gone fishing with Jesus" based on John 21:

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 
4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”“No,” they answered.
6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.  9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. 
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
The earthy incarnation of the Lord of the universe, AFTER his death and resurrection in his glorified body, cooking shore lunch for his disciples! It is a picture that always makes me smile and often gives me that little shiver of eternal awareness.

My father has often told me of he and his dad out fishing on Upper Turtle Lake in NW WI in the dark with cane poles and minnows in 8-10' of water while the sounds of a local dance hall drifted out over the water and WWII raged across the seas. Both his brothers where in the army, but dad's blood pressure was too high to be drafted ( he is 91 now, he lived longer  than either of his brothers who also lived into their late 80's).

I'm familiar with the lake, and have often fished it myself -- In later years, after my dad had some health scares, I occasionally have a dream of sitting in a row boat with my somewhat younger dad in the dark as music drifts over the water while we fish for walleye with cane poles. A couple of times, the sun has been coming up and we see a man on shore with a fire ...

As we pepare our home for sale and contemplate our residency move to the Iowa lake place and an an apartment in Rochester "3 days a week", the reality of "stages in life" is very real. Our boys were just kids as we moved into this house in '95, now they are grown with the oldest having kids of his own. My dad was lucky enough to live to see not just his grandchildren, but his great grandchildren. The blessings of this life can be great, howevever certainly at my dad's age, and increasingly at mine, we begin to seriously contemplate the next.

My soul says that I can trust a risen Saviour that not only cooks shore lunch for his disciples, and even tells them the right way to catch an abundance of fish!

I have no idea of heaven -- and I strongly suspect it will NOT be as this vision is, however, it is comforting to me, Fishing for walleye with my dad on a warm summer night looking forward to shore lunch with Jesus.

How do you think of your ending?

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