“Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias (the Sea of Galilee) It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathaniel from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. (John 21: 1-2)” Time has passed and the scene has changed. Our first sightings of the risen Christ were in and around Jerusalem right after the resurrection. Jesus had told them he would meet them in Galilee and this next account picks up in Galilee. The disciples are in a transition period from having Jesus present, being the leader, setting the agenda and focus of attention, but now they do not have that daily structure to frame their lives.
Perhaps you remember going from college to ….work and having to learn to be your own boss. Going from work to retirement is a similar transition. Single to married is an adjustment. Married to parents is a big shift. These first disciples had to figure out what life was going to look like. They started with the familiar. Peter suggests they go fishing.
During times of transition, what is the backbone that structures our lives? Do we organize seasonally as the weather changes drastically in geographical zones but others have less environmental clues. We change clothes for the climate and change activities like plant gardens. Holidays provide some structure as we see stores start advertising Christmas in October now. Store decorations change to meet an upcoming holiday or event. Rituals like weddings, baptisms, and confirmation give rhythm to life. The disciples went out fishing because that was what they knew how to do. It was their comfort zone.
Spiritual disciplines also give structure to our lives. Journaling in the morning or in the evening is a way to bring closure, a way to park events in a book and process a bit. Daily devotional readings are ways to start the day on a positive note rather than starting with a list of to-dos that can feel overwhelming before the day even starts. Many find times of prayer or meditation help to focus minds on the presence of God in the midst of the flurry of life.
Mountain-top experiences are spiritually exhilarating and are fun but eventually we come down to everyday life. This week we will look at how the risen Christ reached out to his disciples during this ordinary time. Take time to think about ways that you help yourself remember the God who walks with you daily. He’s there and he cares!