The New Testament intentionally affirms the bodily and physical—as opposed to the merely spiritual—resurrection of Jesus. In John 20:24-31, Thomas touches the risen Lord in order to verify the bodily nature of the resurrected Christ. Today’s passage highlights the physicality of Jesus’ resurrection by telling a quirky story about Jesus’ miraculous production of fish, which subsequently get tossed on the barbie for a seaside breakfast.

Imagine how strange this breakfast must have been! First, Jesus appears and causes 153 large fish to fill the empty nets of his disciples. Next, he shouts out, “Come and have breakfast.” Of the many things you might expect the resurrected Christ to do, having an apostolic cookout is likely not one of them. Yet that’s what happens! The meal is awkwardly silent with Jesus’ disciples not venturing to ask who he is because “they knew it was the Lord.”

Elsewhere, in Luke 24:36-43, the post-resurrection Jesus appears to his disciples, wishes them peace, and then proceeds to ask, “Do you have anything here to eat?” Perhaps remembering Jesus’ choice of cuisine at the prior barbecue, the disciples hand him a peace of broiled fish which Jesus proceeds to eat. It is evident here too that Jesus is aiming to get his disciples to focus on the mysterious yet physical nature of his resurrected body. As we focus today on the bodily nature of the resurrection, let us ask the Lord to reveal to us the ways in which our spiritual lives are connected to God’s renewal of all things, including our bodies.

Help us, O Lord, to recognize the goodness of your creation and the holistic nature of your redemption, in which all that you create is on a trajectory of cosmic physical and spiritual renewal. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read John 21:1-19

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Lectionary Week
April 29—May 5, 2019
Scripture Overview

Saul is one of the primary obstacles to the early spread of Christianity. The death and resurrection of Jesus does not fit his paradigm for the Messiah, so it cannot be true. It takes a miraculous intervention by Christ himself to change his mind. Psalm 30 reminds us that the light will always chase the darkness. We experience true suffering and true loss, but God can turn our mourning into dancing in God’s own timing. In Revelation, John takes us to the throne room of God, where angels and creatures proclaim the glory of the Lamb of God who has defeated death and reigns forever. Returning to the Gospel of John, we read more about Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances, which here include a seaside breakfast and a quiz for Peter.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Acts 9:1-20. Jesus’ resurrection calls us to an embodied faith. How do you bear the gospel?
Read Psalm 30. Recall a specific time when you depended on God.
Read Revelation 5:11-14. Have you ever worshiped the Lamb with your whole body? What keeps you from falling down to worship God?
Read John 21:1-19. The author reminds us that Jesus calls us to be shepherds and sheep. Which role do you most often fill? How can you take on a new leadership role or allow others to lead you?

Respond by posting a prayer.

This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”

Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.