Psalm 30: 1-5 & 11-12
JOHN 21: 1-14

May 5, 2019

One of my parents all time favorite activities, especially in retirement, was going out to breakfast either as a family or just the two of them together.  I can remember long drives just to go have breakfast, which of course meant long drives with each other in the small confines of a car where we were each other’s company … time to talk; time to notice what our car was passing and after breakfast more time together to reflect on what we had just eaten.  Back in those old forgotten times there were no DVD players in the backseats of our cars to keep the kids occupied and none of us had smart phones to play games on or to escape from the others in the car … if we were going to play games it was to play them as a family … the license plate game … the alphabet game where you hoped you wouldn’t pass a cemetery because that meant you had to start all over.  Dad might have had the radio on because he liked music but even as he drove he joined in our car games and conversation.  Sometimes he would try to lead us in song but his songs were corny so we usually just listened … especially when he sang “We’re the boys from Pennsylvania … the good old Keystone state” reminding us that no matter how much he loved his adopted home in Buffalo he still treasured his early days in Pennsylvania.

Do you have a special meal that you treasure with your family?  Do you build memories regularly through conversations in the car as you go out to eat with those closest to you?  As you drive along the highways;  do those riding with you in the car notice what is passing them by and talk about it … do you pause to remember the meal you shared by reflecting on the experience … no need to read YELP reviews because you can just hear what your family and friends thought.

Today I want you to consider two meals … ours at the Lord’s Table and the story of how Jesus made breakfast for His disciples along the western banks of the Sea of Galilee.  Those participating in our TUNE UP BIBLE STUDY this past Tuesday …

TIME FOR A COMMERCIAL BREAK … Did you know that every Tuesday at 8am or at 9:30pm there is a Bible Study that you and your friends can participate in from wherever you are!  All you need is a Smartphone, a tablet or even a personal computer.  It’s free; yes friends absolutely and totally free. This study is called TUNE UP and it offers time with God for those too busy to drive to a church for Bible study.  Some amazing people are already part of TUNE UP and some might even be your friends. Tuesday’s with God and friends … a FAITH TUNE UP.   From literally anywhere in the world … when you wake up or when it’s time for sleep TUNE UP on TUESDAY’s … check out God’s Word and you!  And, it is ABSOLUTELY FREE just an investment of 30 minutes or less each week of your time … TUNE UP your FAITH with us.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program …

Where was I … ahh food.  This past Tuesday I shared with the TUNE UP Bible Study how much the story of Jesus making breakfast for His disciples means to me.   By the end of the 4th century a church, The Church of the Primacy of St. Peter, had been built at the approximate location of this cookout along the West Bank of the Sea of Galilee just north of Tiberius. When I visited the location I imagined Jesus bringing the WEBER out and getting the charcoal going as He called out to His disciples in their boat.

BREAKFAST with JESUS; now that had to be an experience and it is in this story that we learn that Jesus was quite the cook Himself.  As the disciples came ashore they could see that Jesus had the grill going with some fish and pita … a fisherman’s breakfast and our Lord … our Savior … our Risen Savior and Master .. their Risen Savior, Master, Teacher and friend … the One we declare with joy that HE IS RISEN! <<HE is RISEN INDEED>> … was telling them come and have breakfast.  That’s an exact quote … John was there, he heard the words but the truth my friends is that this morning Jesus Christ wants us to start our day with Him … He is calling us to have breakfast with Jesus too because if we don’t connect as we start our day … then how can we find time for Him as our days to go off in so many other directions?

“Have breakfast with me;” a simple concept that even our jaded 21st century minds can appreciate … can’t you just imagine those loving words of Jesus Christ, whose voice drew the attention of thousands, just pausing to invite those worn down over burdened and still stressing disciples to just have breakfast guys … have breakfast with me.

You see one of the struggles we face in our life’s journey has to do with choices related to time.  I have often attempted to teach the lesson of how time with Jesus should be the time we long to share … time with Jesus should be the time that refreshes us … time with Jesus should be our priority amidst all the demands of life and I attempt to teach this lesson fully knowing that those some of those hearing my words are looking at their watches … reading their cell phones or thinking about other things because in their hearts they feel that they don’t need to hear … they don’t have the time … Jesus?  Breakfast with Jesus? Nah … someday maybe but Jesus can have those breakfasts with other folks who need Him more or think they do.

As we head towards the summer months … as new priorities become an element of our daily lives … as EASTER; you do remember EASTER don’t you … but yes, I will admit that EASTER is already way back there … oh the cross; Jesus dying … Jesus saving … Jesus living … Jesus teaching … Church do you have time to remember; do you have the time it takes to have breakfast each day to share with Jesus Christ?  With God?   With Scripture? To strengthen your faith that has the potential to transcend the mess the world offers?

Do you have that time to listen … the disciples chose to listen to Jesus before breakfast when He told them to toss the nets over the right side of the boat; the guys had been fishing without much luck after Peter said he was going fishing.  So, Thomas grabbed his fishing gear; Nathaniel he told James that he was going fishing with Peter and then James convinced John to come along and as they headed towards the boat two other disciples joined them.  I am sure the guys started out having a good time together on the boat but as time went by there were no fish.  Now, Nathaniel had just bought a new lure online and had been bragging about it … John had this casting method … but nothing worked until Jesus called out and told them where to place their nets.

WHEN THEY HEARD JESUS … WHEN THEY LISTENED TO JESUS … the catch came in … all 153 fish; a net breaking catch … a reminder of when Jesus first called Peter and Andrew and James and John … back out into the boats … back out to fish where they had failed before … listening to Jesus and by listening to Jesus they then learned how to be fishers of men; how to fulfill God’s command for all believers just like all of us who are commanded by God to share the message … to live the message … to spread the Good News rather than keeping the church hours and online opportunities a secret.

In your life have you been lost … nothing working the right way … frustrated? Sad?  Confused?  Do you realize Jesus is calling out to you … do you understand that those of us who are amongst the shrinking number of individuals who own a Bible and open a Bible … we have the added knowledge that Jesus is calling us to have breakfast with Him so that we can succeed in life; that we can discover how God wants to use us?   Peter after breakfast that morning and then John both were told some specifics but you will have to read more in the Gospel for that.

But today … we have a real meal in front of us.  A Holy Meal … a true breakfast with Jesus.

When you sat down in church this morning did you offer a silent prayer THANK YOU GOD … today, I get to share in Your Table?  In Holy Communion.  Or did you groan and think … geesh, now I will be late to breakfast?   Breakfast at the Piston by 11 or Communion with Jesus and a late breakfast leading to everything else running late?

COMMUNION MATTERS … I feel for those of you who today are online watching our worship service because you can’t drink from the cup nor eat the bread.  CHURCH MATTERS … BREAKFAST with JESUS MATTERS …. INVESTING TIME with GOD MATTERS …

We are loved … Jesus Christ is Risen! <<HE IS RISEN INDEED>> but Jesus shared on that Passover Week Thursday … you do remember the meal on Maundy Thursday church don’t you?  It occurred the night before the Friday when Jesus was nailed to the cross … you did invest some time on Holy Week for God and your personal faith?  I am sure you did …

But now the table is set … a personal connection and a moment not between pastor and church attender but in that small piece of bread and in the fruit of the vine … something special happens when we let it happen … Jesus speaks to us; God relates with us; the Holy Spirit touches us … if we pause … here at St. Paul’s … if you pause and I pause and we focus on God and Christ …

David in today’s Psalm wrote, “LORD MY GOD … I cried out to You for help … and You healed me.  LORD you brought me up from the grave and brought me back to life!”  

Church … when we pause and cry out God is there … Jesus rescued us from the grave.  Take this meal time today as a chance to silently cry out … I know I need God’s help in my life … do you?   I need to be healed in a way only God can heal … do you need God’s healing also?

A simple meal … a minimal amount of time to put away the cell phones that you are looking at right now.  To ignore the time … to focus on your own silent prayer with Jesus … BREAKFAST TIME with JESUS is a healing moment … the LORD’s TABLE is a meal God has given to us to share in.  Are you ready?  Are you interested in accepting the invitation?

It’s not just today … it’s every day and when you accept Jesus invitation to have breakfast with Him to start your day then I believe you will join David and other people of faith who can declare “You changed my mourning into dancing … my whole being sings praises to You and never stops.  Lord, my God I will give thanks to You forever.” 

If you don’t stop to actually have breakfast with Jesus you’ll never really get to know Him nor God … let’s get ready for today’s breakfast and when you leave here with family or friends why don’t you talk amongst yourselves about where you will be having breakfast with Jesus tomorrow and the rest of this week.  Maybe someone will have a great meeting place where our Savior can fill your net that has been empty all too long.



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