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PICNIC ON THE BEACH

ON THIS DAY, THE CELEBRATION OF PETER THE APOSTLE, WE JOIN HIM ON THE BEACH FOR A LIFE-CHANGING BARBECUE.

When they arrived on the beach, they found that Jesus had a fire going

and was baking some damper-bread and barbecuing some fish.

He looked up and said to them,

“Put on some of the fish you’ve just caught.”

........Simon Peter dragged in the catch.

There were a hundred and fifty three fish in all,

most of them whoppers.

It was surprising that the fishing tackle was still intact after landing them all.



Jesus said,

“Breakfast’s ready. Come and get it!”

Jesus divided up the bread among them and then did the same with the fish.


When they had finished eating breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,

“Simon, son of John, do you love me above anyone else?”

Simon Peter replied,

“Yes, Lord. You know I do.”

Jesus said to him,

“Then feed my lambs.”


Then he asked him again,

“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

He replied,

“Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said to him,

“Well, take care of my sheep.”

Jesus asked him a third time,

“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was starting to feel hurt that Jesus kept questioning his love,

and the third time he replied,

“Lord, you know everything. You know how much I love you.”

Jesus said to him,

“Feed my sheep. I kid you not, Simon, when you were a young bloke,

you dressed however you liked and went wherever you wanted.

But when you are an old man,

you’ll put your hands up when you’re told to,

you’ll wear what’s issued to you,

and you’ll be taken places you don’t want to go.”

(In saying this, Jesus was foreshadowing

the kind of death Simon Peter would eventually face in his honouring of God.)

After that, Jesus simply said, “Follow me.”

LaughingBird Liturgical Resources (c) 2020



Children, have you any fish? Just after daybreak,

Jesus stood on the beach;

but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

Jesus said to them, ”Children, you have no fish, have you?”

After breakfast - did they push back the plates, brush away the crumbs, and leaning on their elbows drain the last of the coffee?

when they had finished breaking the fast that knot that moored them to the earth -

did they hear the crack as lack was smashed and denial strewn in shards all round their dawn-drenched faces while Fullness rose before them, a grinning fry-cook, presiding at the flame?


So when they had completed that shattering, that breaking of self-imposed want and self itself, and tasted, savoured, chewed, digested that Fish who had eluded their nets all night

then Feast asked:

Do you love me?

Peter takes the bait.

Yes, Lord. Do fish swim? Is the sea wet?

Feed my lambs.


A second time Feast casts the net:

Do you love me?

Yes, Lord. You know. Peter turns, twisting in the webbing.

Tend my sheep.

And then the charm:

Do you love me?


Flailing, inextricably caught flesh straining, tormented -

I am putty in your hands. You know me. Why press me up against the edges of this love to lie gasping, gills seared by sanctity on the far shore of heaven? You who have lured me here, you know, you know.

Then quick, the deft Cleaver, a swift slash of blade and he is flayed open on his soft underside from gullet to dorsal fin.

And it comes: Feed my sheep. Again.

O Peter, Peter, once you swam where you would, through silent green darkness, in and out of rotting keels among the stems lying in wait for your supper to enter your heart’s snare. Now you are trawled where you do not wish to go where you will be filleted in the bright morning sun for someone else’s breakfast. O Peter, Peter there may still be time run, run!


Tend them, Peter. They are mine. Be gentle with their wounds the raw red festering places seeming so incurable. Teach them to clean, wrap, to bind up the hurt with these stained winding cloths.

give them a poultice for drawing out the poison, a potion for a contrite heart. Wipe their tears.

Sing their lament. Carry their ache in your heart long after they leave and wake to it when you rise.

written by Loretta F. Ross, on The Praying Life blog. http://theprayinglife.com/2012/04



TURNING AROUND

Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John,

do you love me more than these?’

He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’

Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’

When we have failed to share the hope of Christ

in a dark and violent world;

Lord, have mercy

A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’

He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’

Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’

When we have failed to share the care of Christ

towards those who are losing their way in life:

Christ, have mercy

He said to him the third time,

‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’

Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time,

‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him,

‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’

Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.

When we have failed to share the compassion of Christ

in giving from our plenty towards those who have less:

Lord, have mercy


RESTORATION

As you love us, despite our denial,

we praise and we bless you, our risen Lord Jesus, King of Glory;

for even in the victory of Resurrection

you understood the failure of the denying Peter.

As you restored him to relationship with you,

so turn us to yourself and restore us. Amen.


PSALM 23 FOR THE WORKPLACE (Anon)

….. He gives me peace

when chaos is all around me. He gently reminds me to pray before I speak, and to do all things

without murmuring or complaining.

He is my Source;

He restores my sanity

and guides my decisions,

that I might honour Him

in everything I do.


Even though I face absurd amounts of emails, His presence, His peace, and His power will see me through.


He raises me up,

even when they fail to promote me.

His faithfulness and love

are better than any bonus.

When it's all said and done,

I'll be working for Him a whole lot longer; and for that, I bless His name!

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