Summary: The invitation to breakfast intends to take us beyond the surface picture of an hour at a fireside having fishcakes and tea.
From time to time, Glenys says something to me that is sweet to hear and extremely powerful. These words arrest me and make me sit and up and listen. Ladies, if you have a man that does not pay attention, you need this sentence because you will get the undivided attention you so desperately desire. The sentence is - “let’s go for breakfast”! We do not need a reason – we simply do it! It is wonderful to slip away somewhere and have a quiet breakfast together. We try not to talk ministry and work. We talk family, us. Sometimes we do not say much of anything but sit quietly and BE. We aim for PRESENCE. We leave breakfast feeling connected and rejuvenated. The Fireside and other similar Saturday morning hot spots speak to the desire of others like us, to have a break from routine demands and not have to do one more thing to an already huge list.
Today’s text is an invitation by Jesus to join him for breakfast. The invitation to “come and have breakfast” is equal to the command of Jesus in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” This message goes deeper than the surface understanding that Jesus calls us to physical rest from regular work. It is an invitation to center in God; to find rest in the simple sense that he is in control and wherever I am, HE IS and he desires PRESENCE. We need to understand the invitation to breakfast as a metaphor, intending to take us beyond the surface picture of an hour at a fireside having fishcakes and tea (or in Ontario, coffee!)
The first reality of our lives that is painfully familiar and common, can be captured in the phrase of the song,
1. Working Nine to Five (vs1-3)
Peter and his friends found themselves in a similar dilemma. Here is the scene. The Roman power crucified Jesus but God raised him from the dead! He had appeared to his disciples on several occasions. Their emotions were bursting. Peter’s choice to go fishing could have been “I’m going back to what I know best” which was fishing, his trade before he met Jesus three years ago. He could have been trying to do something to keep busy because with the crucifixion and now the appearances that prove Jesus is alive – well, adrenaline is pumping and it is impossible to sit around and wait for the next show. Whatever their reasons, they went fishing. Here is the nine-to-five reality of fishing. There was
-No productivity at first (caught nothing)
-Hard fishing – all night
-Hungry and weary, discouraged
-They had no control over the outcomes. It is what it is. It is what happens when you go fishing. It is the tough life of good days and bad days.
Are you simply working nine-to-five? What do you wake up for every day? Is there any defined purpose to what you do? Why are you doing it? Statistics Canada published a report in 2006 showing that 1.2 million or 8% of Canadians are not satisfied with their work life and jobs. That is, 1 in 12 is unhappy. The bad news is most Canadians could not change their lives for several reasons, to invest themselves in things that really exist them.
2. The Alternative for Nine-to-Five! (vs4-8)
At first glance, this instruction and outcome looks like a miracle when in fact it may not have been. There are instances today where fishermen have assistance from someone on shore to catch the fish. Being in the boat at certain times of the day, such as in this story, they cannot see the fish. However, a person on shore (the boat was only a hundred yards off shore) could see where the fish are. Therefore, Jesus directed them to the fish.
Jesus affected the outcomes of his followers’ nine-to-five experience. His involvement in their lives definitely affected how things ended up; where they had no control Jesus took control and turned the tide of experience! Jesus reminds us not to run after the wrong things and lose Life. He provides opportunities for him to show up and blow us away with his influence in an otherwise nine-to-five existence! The miracle here is not the catch of fish but the lesson that Jesus works in the ordinary! If you are struggling to believe that, when you go to work next time, pray this simple prayer: “Jesus, show me where you are in this.”
Dr. Dale E. Turner writing for Health Action News in July 1993 tells an interesting story of John W. Gardner, founding Chairman of Common Cause. Turner quotes Gardner as saying that it is “a rare and high privilege to help people understand the difference they can make -- not only in their own lives, but also in the lives of others, simply by giving of themselves.” Gardner then tells this story.