Excitement can discombobulate us. We might put on a shoe from two different pair in our hurry. My son arrived at the airport with everyone’s passport but his own and had to return home. I find the story of the disciples meeting Jesus at the Sea of Galilee after the resurrection, after a long night of fishing and no catch, having funny details. When a man tells them to cast their net on the other side of the boat and their net becomes loaded with fish, they realize it is Jesus. Peter is so excited he puts on his clothes and jumps in the water to wade to shore! They are so excited that they take time to count the fish. 153 fish were caught. And in the excitement they are afraid to ask who it is because they know it is Jesus. What a collection of weird facts. Get dressed to swim? Count fish in the middle of a celebration? Fear mixed with excitement?
John records this as the third encounter between the risen Christ and the disciples (John 21: 7-14). Interestingly Jesus had a fire prepared with roasted fish on it. The 153 fish were a bonus, an abundant blessing beyond what was needed. Abundance. When Jesus fed the 500 there was abundance left over. It seems that Jesus does not just want us to survive the night, to break even, to satisfy the minimum expectation but Jesus is in the business of blessing us abundantly. “I have come that they might have life, and that they ay have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)” For fishermen, fish roasting on a fire and 153 large fish more would certainly bring a sense of abundance.
How do we measure abundance today? Unfortunately for many it is measured by their bank account. For others it is measured by good grades or good health or famous talents. Many just want to be loved. When people can’t sleep, they are told to count sheep. Perhaps a better challenge today when we feel so confined by masks and disease would be to count the blessings we have. For a start, name a blessing for each finger on your hand – that’s a hand full. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine!” Try for two hands full of blessing. You are on your way to abundance!