Friday, August 31, 2012



I don’t have to tell you your calendar is loaded full.  You know your workload is surpassed only by your stress-load.   Or that some of your relationships make you feel like a social worker with a giant caseload.  You’ve got financial worries by the truckload, and put it all together you feel like you’re pulling a trainload.

You’re on overload:  emotional, physical, and relational.

You’re not unlike the disciples during the weeks after Jesus’ death.   They were on overload from the stress of hiding and they are grieving.  In overload mode Peter says to his friends exactly what any reasonable man should say in a time of stress.

“I am going fishing.”  (John 21.3). 

In his grief and confusion Peter returns to the one thing he knew best, the one thing that was real in a time of the surreal, this season of “life after Jesus.”


The disciples went with him.  They cast their nets hoping for a big haul to sell at daybreak, but their efforts were in vain.  All night they caught nothing. 

About daybreak Jesus was calling from shore, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat.”  They follow his instruction and their nets are overloaded with fish.  John tells us they caught 153 fish, and dragged them to shore where they enjoyed a meal at this, the third resurrection appearance of Jesus. 


The Greek poet Cilix conjectured there were 153 types of fish in all of the seas[1], John the Gospel writer would've likely known that.  Perhaps John was saying that a little bit of everything was held together in that straining net.  That leaves me to wonder if this story is more about the church as a net, holding together all our diversity, as well as all our problems.  The net miraculously holding it all together without being torn is an image for a resilient church, a body held together in Jesus himself. 

The stress of our lives is a sort of beckoning to draw close to Jesus, to let him hold us together and take the “over” out of our overload.  This Sunday we wrap up our summer series, “Boats in the Bible,” with a story of abundance, a story of Jesus’s power through all trials, and the passing of that power to his followers.  So if you’re on overload in life, join us for worship at 10:30.  Come as you are and sit with Jesus while he mends the strained nets of your soul.

Casting my net on the right side,
Pastor Gary

Reading John by Charles Talbert, page 270.

No comments: