Change, change and more change. Whether we’re the type to lean into change or to pull back and resist with all our might, change happens. These COVID-19 days have changed the pattern of our personal and public lives in ways we could have never imagined. Physical distancing has forced us to change the ways we work, worship and relate to the people and the world around us. Many of these changes are difficult and exhausting. We grieve the loss of “the way it used to be” and long for a time of some semblance of normal. Yet there are ways in which change, even change related to COVID19, opens our eyes, our hearts, our spirits to new ways of being and doing.
This Sunday we have the honor of having Mavi Barrena as our preacher, leading us through a reflection on John 21:1-14. I originally planned to be out of town the first week in July but, due to COVID-19, everything changed! I’m thankful that Mavi will share the Good News and I look forward to being present and sharing Holy Communion. Mavi will help us reflect on the ways God is not only present in the midst of change but how God invites us to change…to do things differently in ways that can lead to new hope, new abundance, new life.
Looking forward to being together with you in worship!
John 21:1-14 (CEB)
Later, Jesus himself appeared again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. This is how it happened: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two other disciples were together. Simon Peter told them, “I’m going fishing.”
They said, “We’ll go with you.” They set out in a boat, but throughout the night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples didn’t realize it was Jesus.
Jesus called to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”
They answered him, “No.”
He said, “Cast your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”
So they did, and there were so many fish that they couldn’t haul in the net. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard it was the Lord, he wrapped his coat around himself (for he was naked) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they weren’t far from shore, only about one hundred yards.
When they landed, they saw a fire there, with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you’ve just caught.” Simon Peter got up and pulled the net to shore. It was full of large fish, one hundred fifty-three of them. Yet the net hadn’t torn, even with so many fish. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples could bring themselves to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread, and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Consider these questions:
- What changes in the last few months have been especially challenging for you?
- Have any of those changes brought new perspective, growth or meaning?
- How have you experienced God in the midst of changing times in the past?
- What symbols or practices do you hold onto in times of change that support your well-being?
- Is God nudging you to do something differently? On a personal level? A professional level? A church or community level?