John 21: 1-19; Luke 24: 28-35
Today’s passages offer a clear description of what “God-works-ahead” means. God always goes ahead of us, and God may be with us in a very different way and form than we expect. We are reminded that “ahead” is where Christ is even though we are often daunted by what lies ahead.
Think of our daily world—there are unknown voices and faces that sometimes are considered as a threat or danger. We might still live in a “Saturday”, not like Easter Sunday people. Maybe, today’s Saturdays could come to us with a natural disaster, an unexpected tragedy, a pandemic, or a gun shooting in public and in school. Thus, how do we recognize the voice and presence of Jesus Christ?
Let’s take a look at the gospel of Luke and John and their stories. As the disciples walked toward Emmaus, a stranger joined them, and he asked them what they were talking about. When they were at the table, they asked the stranger to say grace and blessing. And the risen Christ was made known to them in the breaking of bread.
In the book of John, the disciples had returned to their pre-Jesus life. Then, at daybreak, the stranger-figure-risen-Christ appeared in the shore and asked them about their work. That guy even instructed them about where to fish, which worked very well. Then, John instantly recognized him.
After Jesus had provided this inexplicable breakfast, Jesus begins to interrogate his disciples, asking “Do you love me?” Although Peter answers three times, Jesus says, “Don’t talk of love… show me.” In addition, Jesus says, “follow me” by changing our actions.
Follow me into the new life of Easter, out of pain and suffering of Friday and out of gloomy and disappointed Saturday. Follow me into the transformative feeding of God’s people by building and practicing what today’s Koinonia, a loving faith community, may look like. Follow me into a daring countercultural activity—being concerned about becoming a wider and inclusive “we,” rather than being worried about “I.” Follow me in offering a small window to the world that is filled with love, compassion, and welcoming.
Where are we now and how do we see today’s world? Isn’t it true that we often feel like we are living in the suffering and pain of Friday or the gloom and discouragement of Saturday even though we celebrated Easter Sunday a few weeks ago?
The good news we are called to carry with us is God still surprises us, still interrupts us, and wants to change our lives. God still give us a mandate to act out the love of Christ in concrete ways in the world. And God wants us to know that our obedience to God’s commands—feed the sheep and follow the Christ—puts us at risk sometimes.
Be ready for “being interrupted”. Be ready for a new mandate to feed and tender God’s people near and far. And be ready for taking risks while building and seeking a loving faith community.
Thanks be to God.