Reading and Prayer – May 4

Reading: John 21:1-14

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “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.

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

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

“No,” they answered.

6 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.

7 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. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 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.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for the disciples, our forerunners in the faith, and for your love and patience with them, and with us.  

Thank you that again and again you appeared to them, assuring them of your Resurrection, as year by year we are assured at our Easter celebrations. 

Thank you for being with them not only in holy places and holy times, like Jerusalem on Easter Day, but in their home of Galilee, on a day spent fishing, even as you are with us not only in church on Sunday, but in all the times and places of our lives. 

Thank you that you did not choose perfect people as followers – Peter and his impetuousness, Thomas in his doubt, Nathaniel mocking Nazareth, James and John and their hot temper. Neither are we perfect, Lord, and yet you have chosen us. 

Thank you that even though you had the meal prepared, you invited the disciples to share what they had brought, joining their efforts with yours, even as you invite us to share our time, talents and resources in your ministry to the world. 

Help us, Father, never to be discouraged, but to take strength in the Scriptures, and in the honest and inspiring stories of those who follow you. Amen.