DayBreaks for 01/11/2019: The Radical Ordinary
From the DayBreaks Archive, January 2009:
At the end of the gospel of John is a scene that has puzzled and troubled me. Momentous events have transpired in Jerusalem, in the life of Christ, and certainly in the lives of the disciples. Events so huge and significant that you’d expect they would have all been changed dramatically and for all time. But where do we find the disciples? They’re back in a boat on a familiar lake doing what they had done all their lives up until Christ invited them to “Follow me!” They’re fishing. This is what these men had done for a livelihood. And they’re back at it – even after Jesus had told them he’d make them fishers of men – they went back to being fishers of fish.
I have always assumed that this didn’t reflect well on the disciples. Yet when Jesus meets them on the beach and makes breakfast for them, he doesn’t criticize them. I assumed that the disciples did this because they didn’t know what to make of things – that they still weren’t sure about this Jesus, what it was He was trying to accomplish, and what their part in it was supposed to be. And that may be the reality of the situation.
Eugene Peterson, in Living the Resurrection, had a different thought on this interesting scenario. Resurrection had always had something to do with life in the next world, the next life. But the resurrection of Jesus somewhat broke that rule and that line of thinking. His resurrection took place here in this world, on this planet, in this lifetime…and he was alive and out there walking around somewhere. So, resurrection had to be taken out of the sphere of the future and made into a reality in the present. Here’s what Peterson had to say: “This is a radical thing. It is as radical for you and me as it was for them. This might account – at least, this is what I think – for why the seven former fishermen were back fishing that night. They were beginning to get the sense that Jesus’ resurrection had everything to do with their ordinary lives. They needed practice in this reorientation, and they plunged into ordinariness – the old familiar workplace or sea and the fishing boat.”
I don’t know if Peterson is right nor not, but the point he makes is valid. Scripture talks about how we have already been made alive in Christ – we died with him, we were raised with him. Our soul has experienced the resurrection already – even if our bodies have not. What difference does it make in how you will live your life today as you drive to the office or factory, the school, the gym? How are you, and how can you, practice the resurrection of Jesus and experience it TODAY?
PRAYER: Jesus, we struggle to grasp the reality of our new life in You. You have said we are born again to a new and living hope, that we now live in you and that whoever believes in you will never die! Let us live life’s moments in that reality that others may see your glory and our joy! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>