The Weekly Breather: Bring What You Have Caught
When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”
– John 21:9–10 (ESV)
After every effort had ended in failure and frustration, after yet another unexplained absence, and even while hope had been born anew, fresh wounds were ready to go into hiding. The blessing is given, the number: one hundred and fifty-three. Their success is tied to the spoken word, echoed from the beginning of their journey. They had worked all night long in the cool air that always hovers over any lake till morning break. And now having worked to haul in all that was given, they find the risen Lord with a fire going, some bread, and fish just about ready to serve.
He who had known need, the firstborn of the new creation, was now without need, without hunger, restored to the Father, fully and wholly alive. Curiously, he says, “bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” He has all he needs, provides all we need, and yet asks them to “bring what you have just caught.” The disciples themselves are caught in the welcoming love of Christ and in response could only respond with the love deep within them that they caught from the Lord.
The Lord’s table that morning was merely a small lakeside campfire. What they brought they had just been given, and while they came with a great horde of fish, there was already fish waiting for them, just as Jesus was, and is. We also bring what we have been given, and what has been given is already there waiting for us before we arrive. And yet, Jesus still says, “Bring what you have caught. Bring the lesson you learned in failure and frustration, bring the beauty it took you years to see, bring the joy of your community, bring the gifts I have given, bring your hearts to me, come and join the feast.”
Fellowship is always present in the epic dance of the Holy Three, a constant fire with food and drink. When our response is gratitude in bringing what we’ve received, we find the Son sent by the Father, in the Spirit always present by still waters inviting us to bring what He gave, ready to serve us real food and drink, and to sit with us by the fire.
Meditate and Reflect
Close your eyes and as you listen to the music, visualize the scene.
Smell the cool air and morning dew on the lake.
Listen to the gentle slap of water against the aged wood of the boat.
Notice the first hints of color in the sky and the shadowy figure on the shore.
Look closely at the tired faces of the apostles as they drag the net.
Watch the look of bewilderment slowly forming on their faces when they see Jesus with a fire and food ready to serve.
Hear the master’s voice reassuring them, “bring what you caught, come and join me!”
Smell the burning coals and the fresh fish.
Sit by the fire.
What has Jesus given you?
What is Jesus serving you?
What is he asking you to bring?