Updated: Mar 27
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Scripture: Read John 21.1-14
Last evening a friend dropped off these beautiful daffodils and a book for me. I have not been able to put the book down. I was also so sure that the contents of the book would be the basis of today’s devotion. Well, I am not finished with the book yet and have decided to go in a different direction.
This story in John is another one that I love. In one of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances, he meets his friends where they have gone after his death. They have gone back to the Sea of Galilee which is home for them. They have also gone back to that place together.
There are so many pieces to this story that I love. I love that Jesus goes to his friends. I love that they are by the Sea. I love that they are fishing. I love that Jesus wants to have breakfast with them. I love that they recognize Jesus in their friendship, places, and experiences that are common and routine for them.
In these days of being rather isolated, I feel blessed by many friendships and relationships. I feel blessed by a friend thinking of me and leaving gifts she knew I would enjoy. I feel blessed by daily text check-ins from a group of girlfriends and other dear friends. I feel blessed by family members who email. I am blessed by our church family working to stay connected in a number of ways. I am blessed by those who know me and reach out in ways that are thoughtful and unique to our friendships. I am truly blessed by the relationships that I have in my life.
I hope and pray for those kinds of friendships and relationships in your life. Please let us know if you are feeling isolated or alone. There are people in the church would are ready and willing to be a source of reaching out on a weekly basis just to touch base and stay connected. I hope that in these unsettled days that you feel Jesus in your midst through your friendships, the ways you connect with your friends and through those who are willing and ready to be Christian friends and touchpoint in your life.
In my travels to Israel and Palestine, I have worked with a number of guides. I have enjoyed both Israeli Jewish guides and Palestinian Christian guides. I am always struck by our Palestinian Christian guides when we travel north and are around the Sea of Galilee. It is there that they feel peace. When we make our way south toward Jerusalem, there is an angst that is noticeable. It is not unlike Jesus leaving the peace of Capernaum (on the Sea of Galilee) as he turned his face toward Jerusalem and consequently, the uncertainty and the suffering he would experience.
My prayer is that you have more ‘Sea of Galilee’ moments than ‘Jerusalem’ moments each day. My prayer is that you may feel the presence of Jesus in the friends and relationships you have. My prayer is that these days, you may forge new friendships and relationships. My prayer is that you will feel blessed, not by what has been taken away but by what you have.
Dear God, Thank you for dear friends. Thank you for the blessings they offer to my life. Help me to not take them for granted. And, help me, dear God, to be able to reach out to others as others have done to me. Amen.
PS Stay tuned for thoughts from this fascinating book.