From Pastor Paul:
One of my favorite Easter stories comes from the Gospel of John. It takes place a few days after Easter, Jesus has appeared to the disciples twice now. And one day Peter and a few other disciples decide to go ï¬shing. It seems like a perfectly normal thing to do, after all they have spent the majority of their adult lives ï¬shing.
And so now that their time following Jesus around Galilee seems to have come to an end they return to ï¬shing.
But they were not very successful. They ï¬shed all night and they did not catch a single ï¬sh. They are discouraged and frustrated, and then just after dawn they hear a man standing on the beach asking them if they have no ï¬sh. When they honestly reply that they do not, he tells them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat because there they will ï¬nd ï¬sh.
So, ï¬guring it can't hurt to try, they cast their nets to the other side. And they cannot even haul the nets into the boat because they were so full with ï¬sh.
Immediately they recognize that this stranger on the beach is the risen Jesus and they quickly go to shore to meet him, build a ï¬re, and feast on ï¬sh with him.
I love that the disciples, at a loss for what to do now that Christ has risen, return to something familiar. They return to what they know.
But they ï¬nd that it does not quite work out for them anymore. And here comes this man with a ridiculous suggestion that the problem is simply that they are ï¬shing from the wrong side of the boat! The man tells them to cast their nets to the right side of the boat. Like all ï¬shermen at the time, the disciples were ï¬shing from the left side of the boat. This is because the steering apparatus was located on the right side of the boat and thus ï¬shing from that side risked tangling the net with the steering apparatus when a full net of ï¬sh was raised into the boat.
This meant ï¬shing from the right side of the boat could result in damage to the boat or the net, something any ï¬sherman would want to avoid. And yet the disciples ï¬nd, when they allow the risen Jesus to change their old ï¬shing habits they get an abundant catch.
We are so like those disciples returning to ï¬shing. After celebrating the Easter season many of us return to our old habits, routines, and patterns of life. Like the disciples, we too return to what we know.
Jesus does not admonish the disciples for returning to their old way of ï¬shing. Instead he oï¬€ers them a small but signiï¬cant transformation, a twist on the old way that has huge results.
The risen Jesus oï¬€ers us a twist on the old way, we are called to respond to the Resurrection with fearless love that transforms even our smallest habits, routines, and ways of life.
What would it look like for you to ï¬sh on the other side? What would it look like for you to go about everyday life responding to the call of the risen Christ?
Cast your nets to the other side. Allow familiar ways to be transformed by resurrection love.
See You Sunday, Pastor Paul
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