Friday, April 13, 2007

(Working) Breakfast with Jesus

Back when I was a youth pastor we organized
overnight "lock-ins" for various age groups.
I always ended the long Mountain Dew/ Oreo filled night with a little guided imagery meditation which I called "Breakfast with Jesus."

We gathered everyone together and fed them donuts and orange juice. Then I had them sit on the floor in a circle and close their eyes. Then I read today's gospel (John 21:1-14), which is John's account of Jesus third post-resurrection appearance to the disciples.

He appears mysteriously by the sea,
greeting the disciples who come in from a long night of fishing,
offering them grilled fish and bread, hot off the fire.

I asked the young people to close their eyes
and imagine having breakfast with the resurrected Lord.

What would He look like?

How would you feel as he approached you with breakfast?

What would you discuss with Him

as you sat warming yourself
by the fire in the chilly dawn air?

There is a wonderul air of unreality about this gospel account.
It appears like an appendage in the "rump" 21st chapter of the gospel,
often differentiated by scholars as different from the body of the work .
The gospel author is at pains to describe this sea-side event
three times as a "revelation" of Jesus to his disciples.

But as usual the author of the fourth gospel won't let us off
thinking that that this is simply some transcendental vision.
There's that mysterious catch of fish
with its curiously concrete count of "153."
And of course there's the breakfast..... Jesus as cook.

As best I can remember (its been almost 15 years ago)
my own meditation almost always consisted of asking Jesus questions
about this, that and the other.
Why do certain things happen?
What do you want me to do about "X"?

Strange thing,
now I notice two things quite different
from those meditations so many years ago.

One, Jesus comes and sits silently with me.
We eat, we sit, and we're quiet like an old couple
that no longer need to constantly talk to each other
in order to communicate.

Two, I realize that
He has come to me, a fisherman, in my place of work,
by the sea.

How did Jesus come to me today at work,
in the many joys and changes,
and delays and trials
which marked this up and down Friday?

How is He with me now in the late evening silence
when only keyboard clicks and furnance rumblings
break our shared silence?

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