2nd Sunday after Easter – May 1st 2022

Welcome

Call to worship

You have turned our sadness into joy.

We worship you, O God.
You have restored us to life.
We worship you, O God.
You have turned our mourning into dancing.
We worship you, O God.

A gathering prayer

Creator God, you made us in your image,
part of your wonderfully diverse creation,
fragile and yet fantastic in your eyes.
Be present with us today,
and in all we think and say and do.
Meet us and remake us,
shape our hearts and minds
that the pattern of our lives
may better reflect your life.
Amen.

© Copyright 2002-2021, ROOTS for Churches Ltd. All rights reserved. Print ISSN: 2040-4832 and 2635-280X; Online ISSN: 2635-2818.

Worship

Word

In the just before dawn darkness
It is hard to see
The light is coming
But oh so slowly.
 
The waves lap against the shore in their strong slow rhythm
The day is about to begin.
 
The fire crackles
Its flames lapping round the branches
consuming the wood.
 
All that has passed is filled with light and beauty
The flames dance
Moving and leaping
Warming and comforting hands and heart.
 
He was with us I am sure
He talked with us walked with us on the shoreline
He ate with us as he had done so many times before
Time to relax and breathe in his presence
Eating fish on the edge of the sea
On the edge of the unknown.
Telling stories of hope lost and of new beginnings
Of death and of life.
 
Meet us on the edges of our comfort zone
Walk with us as we learn to risk our lives to follow you.
Warm our hearts again with the fire of your love
Strong and fierce
Filling us with hope
Dancing and leaping for joy.
 
As we kick over the embers
Jesus we place our hope in you
Standing between the life we know
and the call to change.
May we hear your voice
find healing for our past mistakes
And walk with you into a new day.
 
© Copyright 2002-2021, ROOTS for Churches Ltd. All rights reserved. Print ISSN: 2040-4832 and 2635-280X; Online ISSN: 2635-2818.

 

Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish

21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[a] It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[b]), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus Reinstates Peter

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

John
21:1-19

Reflection

The reading that we have heard this morning, is one that is really important to me. Not simply because of Peter’s restoration and re-commissioning which gives hope for us all, but because this has become an integral part of my own personal journey of faith. It is a story through which God took me to western coast of the Sea of Galilee to meet with him, and without it, I would not be standing here today. It is also a combination of this story and the events experienced in 2014 that inspired the design of my white stole (put on your stole).

There are two parts to the story that we heard, the first is the miraculous catch of fish and the feeding of the disciples and the second is the restoration of Peter and his recommissioning, and whilst the commentators that I explored tend to look at the parts separately, for me these are well and truly linked together.

What struck me when I first studied this passage and still does today are the number of reminders or hints as to what has gone before_ ‘the echoes of the first time’.

The story begins with the disciples, going back to what they know, and so they head back to the Sea of Galilee to go fishing. They go at the best time_at night_ but they catch nothing. As the dawn is breaking a figure on the shore asks them if they have caught anything. When they respond ‘No’, the figure tells them them to throw the nets over the other side which they do and they promptly catch a huge number of fish. It is here, that there is the moment of ‘revelation’ as the disciple Jesus loved announces “It is the Lord!’ and a moment of ‘action’ and Peter as impulsive as ever, makes himself presentable and jumps into the water to swim to shore and greet Jesus, whilst leaving the others to bring in the boat and the catch of fish.

Luke 5 tells of a similar miraculous catch of fish, after which Jesus calls the fishermen to put down their nets, follow him and to become fishers of men and so starts they’re journeying together. I wonder if the disciples had a sense of they’d done this before?   

When they reach the shore, Jesus is already cooking bread and fish, on a charcoal fire, this is itself is an echo of the feeding of the 5000 and the provision which Jesus provides. But what is the significance of the  ‘charcoal fire’. This phrase is only used at one other time and this is in the passage that recounts Peter’s denial of Jesus. At which he not only denied knowing Jesus, but he denied his own status as a disciple.[1] Here is the echo of the time when Peter got it wrong! I wonder if Peter felt uncomfortable as he sat by that fire eating the bread and fish that Jesus served him?

It is after this that Jesus speaks to Simon Peter and asks him three times whether he loves him. But again notice that the question Jesus asks is addressed to his original name, the one he was known by before Jesus gave him the name Peter. Each profession of love, overwrites each denial and in doing so, Peter is given a new command, a fresh challenge and a new commission. Jesus is trusting Peter to get back to fruitful work but not just any work, Jesus is inviting Peter to share in Jesus’ own work of being a shepherd for the sheep[2]. (John 10:1-18) but for Peter to be able to do this, Jesus needed Peter’s heart, to the extent of being prepared to give up his life and this is summarised in Jesus invitation to ‘Follow Me’[3]

But lets ask the ‘So what’ question? What does this mean for us today. I think this speaks to us today on two levels.

1) Corporately – The catch of fish in this story reminds us that without Jesus our work is in vain. This can be seen in the lack of catching anything in the dark (which is a common illustration of being separated from Jesus) but with Jesus the net is overflowing. As we prepare and step into this new season at All Saints our hope and prayers are for growth in faith and in numbers. But we need to be open to Jesus and all that he is doing in this community so that we can point the way and to do this we need to be firmly rooted in Christ through prayer and in thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6 and Colossian 4:2)

2) Individually – In Peter’s restoration and new commission, we can be confident that the promise of healing and restoration is available to us all. I know this to be true because I have seen God do this within me. It took several years but it started with an echo of the first the time and culminated with the profound experience of God standing barefooted in the Sea of Galilee. If  there is a sense of failure, of struggling with an event in your life which has dramatically changed what you thought it would be, if there is a sense of getting things wrong and not being in the place where you thought you would be, then Jesus can and does restore us to the people we were created to be, so that we continue to work alongside him in all that he is doing.

But just as it was with Peter, so it is with us too and first and foremost Jesus, needs our hearts  and to ‘Follow him’.  

[1]    Martin & Wright,  Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture: The Gospel of John (Baker Academic: Grand Rapids, 2015) p.352

[2]    Wright, John for Everyone Part 2, (SPCK: London, 2002) p. 164

[3]    Martin & Wright,  Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture: The Gospel of John (Baker Academic: Grand Rapids, 2015) p.353

Witness

Prayers

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

A sending out prayer


Send us out, Lord,
not perfect creations but always work in progress.
Keep before us the vision of heaven on earth.
Show us the way of life that is the pattern of Christ.
Fill our hearts with the hope and promise
of your ongoing work of transformation in our lives.
now and every day.
Amen.
 

Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Alleluia, Alleluia.
In the name of Christ. Amen. Alleluia, Alleluia
 

Community

The community of S17 has drawn together during these unusual times in a very special way. This is reflected in the great work of the S17 COVID-19 Community Support group.

The group aims to support those in the community who may be in need and to provide a support network to the S17 community at this time.

“If there are needy people in our community let’s ensure we help them out with things like bringing shopping to their door.”

The Wardens of All Saints Totley have been producing regular newsletters with helpful links, thoughts and resources. The latest of these is here.

We have also started to add resources for the younger members of our church, to add to this virtual service. They can be found here, and here.

Reminder

If you have any feedback on this service or any other ideas, suggestions or contributions, for future services please do send these to comments@allsaintstotley.church