DayBreaks for 1/11/19 – The Radical Ordinary

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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.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 11/27/18 – Frozen Fishermen (and Home)

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DayBreaks for 11/27/18: Frozen Fishermen (and Home)

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2008:

It’s been some number of years now, but I used to take an annual 3-day fishing and camping trip with my friends, Ken, Larry and Tom.  We went different places each year, but it was always a highlight of our fall season.  We worked together at a company called Triad and had grown to be good friends over the years.  Our trips became so famous in the company that at company breakfasts after our get-away, we’d be asked about the trip or invited to show pictures! 

One year, we went to a place called Loon Lake.  We’d been there before and the fishing was usually pretty good, and at the time it was fairly isolated.  It was located at 6500 feet in the Sierra Nevada, about 50 miles off highway 50 that eventually goes into the south end of Lake Tahoe.  Having been there before, we thought we knew what we were getting in to.  We didn’t.

The weather was beautiful the first couple of days we were there and we had ice chests full of fish.  On our last night there, it was a bit cooler, and we crawled into the tent and our sleeping bags looking forward to one more morning of fishing. 

Morning dawned – cold and wet.  It had started raining during the night and we were as wet as we could be.  Temperatures had plummeted to near freezing.  As I recall, there were drips and drabs of ice mixed in with the rain.  As I had noted, we’d been to Loon Lake before and thought we knew what we were up against.  But since the weather had been nice before, none of us had brought rain gear.  But, being the manly men that we thought we were in our younger days, we still wanted to fish.  So, we cut neck and arm-holes in the trash bags we’d taken and put them on over our jackets and headed down to the lake to fish.  The only problem was that it was so cold that our fingers were too numb to bait the hooks.  So, two of the guys who were not as full of their “manliness” as the other two of us were, volunteered to keep their hands in their pockets to warm them up and then to bait the hooks while the other two of us fished.  We did that for a while – and the weather kept getting colder and windier and wetter.  It wasn’t long until we were all thinking the same thing: won’t it be great to get home and get a hot shower and warm up!

Well, we survived – no one lost any fingers or toes, and we left vast numbers of trout uncaught.  We were miserable, no doubt about it.  But how much more miserable would we have been if we didn’t have a clear picture of the homes and warmth to which we would return? 

So it is with this world.  This world is a white-out, a blizzard, trying to freeze the very life out of us.  And, for much of the time, we are to varying degrees and for varying reasons, miserable while here.  It is the heavenly vision, of the warmth of the Presence, of the warm welcome, of the place of comfort – that revitalizes us.  We don’t think of heaven enough, I fear.  Let the thought of heaven warm your heart and soul and give you the focus to keep going until you arrive at His house! 

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the vision that has the power to keep us moving forward, for the promised place of rest and reward that will make this life and it’s struggles seem like nothing.  When we start to lose hope, to freeze over, warm us with the vision of your eternal love, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>