The Morning-After Net

It’s doubly hard when a dream turns to dust, when people who have gone through a dramatic life event (a significant relationship, a turn-around experience) see all the goodness vanish. The dream dies, our new life doesn’t pan out, loved ones drifts away. Unsure of what to do, we ask ourselves, Can I go back to who I was before? Can I at least do something that used to be familiar?

I can imagine Peter in that state after his betrayal, after Jesus’ unthinkable death, even after the Resurrection. Peter’s sense of life must have been stripped of all feeling, his mind reeling with What do I do now? It’s no wonder he told his fellow former-fishermen, “I’m going fishing.”

So Peter must have been stunned by that morning-after breakfast on the Galilee lakeshore (John 21:1-14). Actually, it was the overwhelming abundance of fish that tipped him off. The Beloved Disciple (John’s stand-in for you and me) recognized Jesus, not by his appearance but by the effect of his action, when their long-empty net was now teeming with fish, including one of every species known at that time.

As with Peter in that moment, even when the greatest events of our lives turn sour, Jesus comes to be with us and provide abundance we never felt was possible. Peter and the disciples had a delicious, nourishing breakfast that day – and then no doubt, as stewards of God’s abundance, they shared the rest of that amazing bounty with the community around them.

Your partner in ministry,

Betsy Schwarzentraub