Thinking Towards Sunday; “C” – Easter 3; John 21:1-19

Here is the link to the Gospel lesson: John 21:1-19

 

Dreams are good! History of humanity is built on BIG dreams.

 

George Washington Carver’s dream began with the question and a prayer, "Lord, why did you create peanuts?"

 

In his political career, Abraham Lincoln lost several elections before saying, "I think I will run for president!"

 

A nun named Sister Theresa said, "I want to touch a poor child in Calcutta."

 

Mahatma Gandhi, once thought, "There must be better way to take control of our country from the British rule."

 

In 1971 Frederick W. Smith thought, "there must be a better way to ship letters from Los Angeles to San Francisco." FedEx corporation was born.

 

Dreams help us to make a difference in the world that we live in. Every accomplishment begins with a dream. Dreams bring us hopes. Dreams inspire us to pray and to work towards making them a reality. In the process of accomplishing our dreams we manage making a difference in our world.

 

Unfortunately sometimes our dreams crash and burn. It is incredibly painful to watch our dreams die, to witness our lives fall apart, wondering what’s left and how we are going to pick up pieces of our lives and find the courage to dream new dreams.

 

That is exactly where Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James and John (sons of Zebedee) and two other disciples (John 21:2) found themselves.
Peter’s journey with Jesus was a journey of building a dream that crashed and burned in the three days before the First Easter.

 

When Peter was confronted with awesome divinity incarnate in a carpenter from Nazareth, his response was, "Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!" (Luke 5:8). And yet Jesus did not go away.

 

When Peter saw Jesus walking on water towards the boat, instead of being terrified like the other disciples, he had the courage to step out on faith, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water" (Matt 14:28). To this day, Peter is the only human being (other than Jesus) that walked on water to my knowledge.
 
 
Jesus personally changed Simon’s name to "The Rock" promising to build the Church on the foundation of Peter, after he confessed Jesus to be the Messiah; "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God" (Matt 16:16)
 

 

During the Last Supper, mere hours before Jesus’ death, Peter affirmed his loyalty to Jesus by saying "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death" (Luke 22:33).
 
 
Peter denied Jesus three times in the early hours of that Friday morning (Luke 22:57, 58, 60). That denial must have haunted Peter for the rest of his life because it is in those moments that Peter’s dreams must have died. I can almost hear Peter sinking into the depth of hopeless and dreamless despair void of any possibilities with that triple denial of Jesus. I can almost feel Peter’s world collapsing.

 

If you ever had a time when your hopes and dreams were smashed and destroyed leaving you feeling desperate and hopeless, then you can relate to Peter at that stage of his life.

 

Fortunately our story does not end there.

 

When we don’t know what to do next, we do what we know. With Jesus’ crucifixion, Peter did not know what to do next and that is why Peter went back to what he knew; Peter went back to fishing.
 
 
Peter was a naturally born leader. I believe that is why six others left Jerusalem and went with him: Thomas, Nathaniel, James and John (sons of Zebedee) and two other disciples (John 21:2).
 
 
When Jesus showed up on the shores of the Sea of Galilee that morning, Peter and his crew were embarrassed (verse 12 says that they “did not dare to ask Him “Who are you?”” because they knew it was Jesus.)
 
 
Jesus did not give these seven men an inspirational speech. Jesus did not promise these seven men that everything will be OK. Instead Jesus challenged them, "if you love me, feed my sheep." Jesus gave them a challenge, a task to do.
 
 
Just like Jesus challenged Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James, John and "two others" to be tools in God’s hands, Jesus is also challenging us.

 

Are you a tool in God’s hands? Is our church "feeding" Jesus’ sheep?
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