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breakfastonthebeachJohn 21: 1-14
Introduction to the reading
This is the fifth Sunday of the Easter season and we hear another story of Jesus appearing to the disciples after the resurrection.  This is also Mother’s Day.  Our children are staying with us for the whole service and some are also taking part in leading.  Thus the young disciple Robbie and the old disciple (me) are sharing the reading of the Scripture.

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  After hours of sleep and needed rest, our body metabolism needs a kick start.  Our brains and muscles (and all the other systems) need refueling in order to begin working and to keep working at their best.  A good breakfast that includes carbohydrates, sugars, fiber and protein provides the nutrients and energy for a strong start to the day and long-lasting energy for later on.

We shouldn’t skip breakfast, even though, in the press to get out in the morning, that’s what we’re often tempted to do.  We need food – and the right food - in our systems long before lunchtime.  Studies show that children who don’t eat breakfast are more tired and have a harder time focusing in school, and they tend to get cranky and restless.  Adults who don’t eat a good breakfast suffer as well from poor concentration and low energy.  Not eating first thing can lead to being very hungry later on, a hunger often satisfied by snacking on high-fat, high-sugar junk food.  We know where that leads…

The tie-in to Mother’s Day, of course, is that we recognize that it is usually the mother who is responsible for getting the family off to a good start with a nutritious breakfast.  Sometimes that simply means providing the right foods to choose from.  If your household is anything like ours was when our children were growing up, it was pretty much what cereals there were in the food closet.  Later on, after the children are grown and gone and we’re on our own, we have to remember to take care of ourselves with the same attention.  We all need mothering…

In our Scripture reading for today, Jesus serves breakfast, a picnic breakfast on the beach along the Sea of Tiberias in Galilee (also known as the Sea of Galilee), where the disciples had been fishing.  When they came ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there with fish on it, and bread.  And Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”  They knew who he was…
He told them to go get some of the fish they had caught and add them to the ones already on the fire.  Simon Peter did that and brought back 153!  They probably didn’t cook all of them…  I imagine them sitting down, talking about this miracle, though … so many fish and not one piece of net torn with the weight…  
Then Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.  We recognize this phrasing.  This is a holy communion.
Fish and bread.  Protein and carbohydrate.  Nutrition and energy to begin the day – although the day of fishing had begun almost in the middle of the night.  By daybreak they still hadn’t caught anything and were ready to give up.  But then, with a word of advice from that man on the beach, who they quickly realized was the risen Jesus, they caught such an abundance they could hardly haul it in.

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  You should eat what is really good for you and you should never skip it.  
The lesson for us from this Bible story is this:  breakfast with Jesus– this holy communion – is the most important meal of our living.  Fish and bread.  Protein and carbohydrate.  Nutrition and energy to begin the day.  But so much more.  Jesus provides nourishment, not just nutrition; sustenance, not just energy; compassion, not just focus.  Jesus feeds us with the spiritual food we need in order to live each day to its fullest.

I have come that you may have life, he said, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10).

Rev. Kathryn Henry
Peapack Reformed Church
Gladstone, NJ
May 14, 2017

khenryRev. Kathryn Henry
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