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Summary: In Easter we discover in the risen Christ an encounter with the grand questions of life

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I was reminded this week of the challenge we often feel coming to celebrate such profound events…the challenge to really ‘get it’ in terms of the meaning of what we come to…in the midst of all the activity that can surround such holidays.

Thursday… 3 year old son…His Preschool nemesis told him the Easter bunny was HER friend. He said, “The Easter Bunny isn’t your friend… He’s my friend.” > She bit him.

Later that night…5 year old son tried to explain who the Easter Bunny was. Came to hide all the eggs, then he goes back to the “North pool” where Santa is.

If we really grasp these events we’ve come to celebrate today …we realize they sum up the grand story of our lives…the divine drama which we are a part of. It’s a drama that is manifest in specific historical and human events… yet becomes a timeless encounter for us all.

One of the most extended encounters with the risen Christ comes in….

John 21:1-19

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), 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. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught."

Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

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

"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."

Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"

He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."

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. I tell you the truth, 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." Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"

Peter… is a picture of the highest hopes / enthusiasm… now the disciples had gone to Jerusalem and had experienced a tumultuous series of events: the Triumphal Entry, the expectation of a new kingdom, a betrayal by a trusted friend, near arrest, denial of Jesus by their leader Peter, the agonizing crucifixion of Jesus, the Resurrection, and the manifestations of the risen Lord. Their leader was gone. They had watched Him be crucified on a cross. And they had all run away in fear. Yes, they had witness that He had risen from the dead. He had appeared to friends and family. But they still felt very alone. Understandably they were confused and unsure of the future.

> The place they begin reflects a part of each of us, when we feel at a total loss when the experience isn’t what we expected.

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