It is a gray, rainy day in southern Indiana, with LOTS of birds about.
In class this morning, we agreed that John 21:15-25 has something to do with Jesus setting Peter up to be “head of the church” going forward. But we wanted to see more than that historical or traditional message. Because everyone seemed to think we should see the text addressed to us as well. So, Jesus is somehow also telling us to “feed” and “tend” the lambs and sheep. “That’s ‘other people.’” And we’re supposed to “follow me,” that is Jesus, too. So we talked about what that meant, concretely. I said I hoped it didn’t mean “doing what Jesus did,” because I haven’t healed the sick or raised anyone from the dead ever, let alone recently. But someone else said it means being open to the opportunities to help people, to show love, to be generous … in which case, different things might qualify, including giving people rides places, which would make me feel better.
In church we sang “The Strife is O’er” (Palestrina … one of those hymns that always makes me cry, but in a good way).
We reflected more on the story of the disciples on the way to Emmaus (Sunday school two weeks ago), when Jesus, as our pastor said, “was having a really good day” – but had the grace to be present with these sad people, to listen to everything they said, and then show them how their immediate sad news was happening in a much larger context. Then when he went with them to eat the evening meal, at table “took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them” – and then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. The take, bless, break, give pattern to the story is repeated over and over – in Luke, in the Bible (e.g., the first humans; Noah and family; Abraham and Sarah; the Israelites; David; the exiles), but for Christians especially in Jesus; and then, in Christian life: in baptism, (where we are “broken” in our death to a life separated from God, “given” back to the world as part of the body of Christ …), in communion of course, most obviously, but then, generally … this is maybe one of the most authentic ways of telling “the big story,” the “metanarrative” of the gospel.
After church, the grown ups moved all the furniture out of the multipurpose room, for floor cleaning. But in Sunday school, we read the story of how Jesus did not stay dead, made sun out of Playdoh, and found the names of all the dinosaurs.