Daily Devotion - Monday, March 28, 2016
It's the Monday after Easter, and I'm tired.
Yesterday at my church we had record crowds. The energy was through the roof. It was an incredible celebration on all fronts. Every one of our worship services was filled with joy, fantastic music, enthusiastic participants---it was a great day.
But today... I'm weary. I overslept (probably because I needed to) and I'm running behind. I need to head in to the office in a few minutes, and there's a long day of meetings and tasks in front of me.
I'm not looking for sympathy, mind you. Far from it. I'm just stating the obvious.
For pastors, Easter Sunday is the pinnacle of the church calendar. It's our Super Bowl, to use a cultural analogy. And then it's over--after all of the planning, the build up through the season of Lent and the excitement leading up to it, Easter inevitably comes to an end.
And you find yourself asking the question, "Now what?"
In John 21 the disciples have that same kind of moment. They had the incredible excitement and rush of realizing that Jesus was raised from the dead, but then he disappears and leaves them wondering what to do next.
So Peter finally says, "I'm going fishing."
Peter wasn't going fishing as a means to relax. He'd been a fisherman for most of his life. Peter was going back to work. He basically was saying to his fellow disciples, "We experienced something incredible, to be sure. I don't know what comes next, but I don't feel like sitting around waiting. I'm going back to work."
Interestingly, it's when Peter returns to fishing that he and the disciples encounter Jesus and catch a miraculous catch of fish. It's also interesting that it's on the beach with Jesus after this miraculous catch that Peter finally confronts the guilt of his betraying Jesus, and is restored and redeemed.
I find such great comfort in this story, especially on the Monday after Easter. I don't think Peter was doing anything wrong. In fact, I am sure of it. I think he did what any of us would have done. As he waited for Jesus, he got back to work, doing what he knew how to do best.
And the risen Christ showed up in the middle of it, and transformed everything.
The answer to the post-Easter question "Now what?" is complicated. But I think it begins by those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus getting back to work. We have a lot to do to spread the news of the Resurrection to the world. There is good, honorable work to be done--work that transforms communities, neighborhoods, families and even the whole wide world.
Let's get back to work, you and I. The risen Christ will appear in the midst of it, no doubt. And when he does, it will be miraculous, transformative, life-changing and world-altering.
May the grace and peace of the Risen Jesus be with you now and always. Amen.