Before Easter, and Advent, the stress is on the waiting, Richard Passmore has written extensively on it here http://www.sundaypapers.org.uk/?p=3459 . I am as intrigued by the wait of the disciples after the main event – almost the ‘after the lord mayors show’ – what do they do now? thoughts from John 21.
The Disciples knew what they were doing before & during Easter week – they followed, they listened, the obeyed, they were instructed, they did as they were asked to – from walking to villages two by two, to picking up donkeys, to arranging the house for the last supper. But after…?
Now things were different. Jesus had returned from the Dead. But wasnt here for a while. So what might they do next?
In the awkwardness of an unforgiven denial & transgression, uncomfortable Peter heads back to what he knows best. Back to the boats, back to fish.
Another wait – this time for fish.
The Calmness of the sea, the quietness of the night, the emptiness of the net, the restlessness of the fishermen.
The time to wait. One long night on the boat.
Wondering. Wondering whether life on the boats is where its all heading back to, wondering if the failure of them, as they scarpered at the cross would mean a return to wasted nights at sea.
Waiting to be forgiven, waiting to be given responsibility.
Pre-Easter is about Waiting. Post-Easter is also about waiting. Waiting in the dawning of the new.
Waiting to receive more instruction, waiting to be welcomed back.
And in thinking about Peter and the waiting post resurrection – what about ourselves? Where do we go (back) , to find space of comfort, in our waiting?
When we wait- are we willing to drop our nets, and boats the second time?
Its ok maybe to wait, get stuck in into something familiar, something busy- but what if even that too is as toxically calm as the deadness of sea at night. It just doesnt carry the meaning, purpose and fulfilment of before. its empty. like the nets. Its a distraction, nothing more, nothing less.
and when the wait is over.
How much more, might we like the sound, smell and aroma, of frequent breakfasts on the beach – rather than the conversation afterwards – or the task to be fulfilled?
Breakfast is great, its food, its fun, its active.
Conversation means reflecting again, being confronted again.
The Conversation forgives & commissions, the wait is over.