April 10, 2016
Going Fishing after Easter
“The Lord is risen! Let’s go fishing!” Wait, that’s not right. If someone in your congregation shouted such profanity on Easter morning, he or she might not be welcomed back. Such a shame. After all, Easter has come and gone. The weather is getting nicer. The pastor’s sermons won’t be as good as the ones during Lent. Why not go fishing?
Soon after the first appearance of the risen Christ, seven of the disciples are together. One says, “I’m going fishing.” Scholars will tell you that Simon Peter’s anticlimactic statement is just a good starting point for John’s recollection of such an amazing event. After all, Simon Peter was just going back to work. Passion Week is over. Easter vacation is through. Back to the daily grind of the family business.
In a passage usually known for the characteristic Christ doing charac-teristic work—appearing to unsuspecting people swallowed up in temporal matters to offer them a piece of eternal wisdom—perhaps we can find inspiration in the simple decision of Simon Peter to return to business. We’d all love to dwell on the glory of Easter vacation . . . I mean, morning. Such a wonderful time on Good Friday getting caught up with housework . . . I mean, attending the crosswalk. But sooner rather than later, we must reenter the real world and get back to work.
The great performance of the resurrection cannot happen every day. A moment in time has been given to us for a lifetime of opportunities. For our faith to grow, there must be “common” time throughout the year for us to share what we have experienced in our walk with the resurrected Christ. And if we want more people to walk with us, we must be willing to go fishing after Easter.
Russ Williams, pastor, Union Cross Moravian Church,
Winston-Salem, North Carolina