E-votional - Easter People ... Care For them All
May 16 - May 22, 2004


After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Master, you know I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Master, you know I love you.”
Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.”
Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

John 21:15-17 (NRSV)


There was a book out not too long ago entitled, "All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Faughum. “What do you do?” is a question we often begin conversations with people we don’t know too. Operating out of the assumption that if we know what someone does it helps us understand in part who they are and what is important to them, identity is something we seek in one another. It is interesting to listen as people answer that question. For those who feel fulfilled in their work they often answer the question, in relation to their vocation. For others, the answer may come as they talk about the things they are involved in that speak to their passions and spiritual calling. For some, it is a blend of both. Regardless of how we have answered that question in the past, “What do you do?” the Easter story offers us a new and hopeful perspective on the possibilities for our future responses. For you see, we are Easter people. We live on the knowing side of the Easter story. We know the rest of the story unlike those early followers. We live knowing resurrection is real, and that the end is only the beginning. And therefore, as Easter people we have a job to do. Easter People … take care of them all. Hear the Good News, Christ connects with us through our life, our identity and continues to connect to us in hope we will be fed, feed His lambs and shepherd His sheep. This amazing connection for us happens within these words we see above. First, we have Jesus giving directions for catching a great haul of fish. Here He is reminding His disciples of their call to be fishers of men, not fish, and to be an encouraging sign or symbol of their success when they listen to the directions from Jesus.
But it goes deeper than just the catching. He invites them all to share a meal with them, fish which He had caught, roasted on a fire of His own kindling on the shore. The meal serving as a reminder that earthly care is not to the focus of their living and working, rather, if they seek to serve the kingdom with an undivided heart, all their wants and needs will be attended to.
Finally, when the morning meal is over, He presses them all as they listen to the conversation with Simon bar Jonas, with the disciple who had been the leader in the night adventure on the lake, and addresses him in a style fitted to call forth all his latent enthusiasm, and intended to have a similar effect on the minds of all present. The encounter connects us to the here and now.
We find our selves as Simon, son of Jonah. We find our selves as the other disciples.
This connection, this encounter is not “I allow you,” but “I urge you.” By all considerations He would move them to address their heart and soul to their ministry work, and let boats and nets and every thing else alone forever. Jesus challenged Peter (and all who follow him in hiding behind their failures and inadequacies) to discover and to live out an after-Easter faith that is motivated by the presence and the compassion of the risen Christ. He called Peter, and us, to join him in ministry, to feed the lambs and sheep and to gather the lost.  As shepherds care for their sheep, so God's people are called to care for others: to feed the hungry, heal the sick, shelter the homeless, protect the abused, comfort the wounded and seek the lost. Christ's call to a ministry of both body and soul is a challenge that cannot be met on Sunday alone. It calls for the best we have every day of our lives. It calls for a faith that comes out of hiding and manifests itself in our living.


   Gracious God, feed me and lead me, for I am Yours and You are mine. Use me and enable me to find the lost and to feed the hungry. I know I have a witness to bear, a story which tells of your love and care. Lord, I am an Easter Person and i will care for them all as best as I can. Thank You for all You have done and all You continue to do.  In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Grace & Peace

David Banks
Jewett United Methodist Church
PO Box 254
Jewett, TX 75846
(903) 626-4003


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