S-1184 3SOE/3C Hymns (O) #204; S #239; (C) #740 LSB
Texts: Acts 9:1-22; Revelation 5:8-14; John 21:1-14
Theme: “Come!” (John 21:12-14)
Question: “Has anyone told you to ‘come’ Lately?”
SOLI DEO GLORIA, Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! The text for meditation for the 3rd Sunday of Easter is from the Gospel lesson: “Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared ask Him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after He was raised from the dead” (John 21:12-14)
Introduction: In Nomine IESU
People of God, chosen and beloved you and I are alike in many way—in that we have all been invited to come either for dinner, barbeque, go to the river, graduation, confirmation, birthday parties, weddings and anniversaries. When we are invited, we attempt to go if possible. However, I would venture to say that none of us have ever been invited to the elegant or extravagant events like dinner at the White House, or the Palace of Queen Elizabeth. You see, we are not considered special or royalty enough to be told to come to the gala event. We are just common ordinary folks who attempt to make a living, and thus are unable to rub against the rich and famous.
Today, St. John reveals to us the Risen Lord Jesus on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, bidding the seven disciples to come to Him and have breakfast with Him. These faithful followers of Jesus while waiting for Him to arrive in Galilee didn’t wait idly, but labored in their profession but to no avail. That is a picture of anyone who is without Christ; his life will be a failure. But with Jesus at the helm, the blessings abound and so is His grace.
On the shores of the Sea of Galilee the Risen Lord reveals Himself to His disciples by allowing them to dine with Him. When the Ruler of the Universe and Creator of all that exists tells them to come, He demonstrates to them, that He holds no grudges or resentments against them for leaving Him all alone in the Garden and when He endured the cross. With this invitation Jesus was restoring them with the table fellowship with Him. Eating at the table is a sign of friendship and communion with the risen Lord, Jesus.
What a great picture! Jesus says, “Come!” These disciples needed to hear the message after all they had done. They all ran away when the tough got going. Peter denied Him, Tomas doubted Him and the rest forsook Him. They needed to know that His love was constant and His mercy will not run out. And so His tender words spoken on the shore were aimed to the troubled and burdened hearts of His followers.
But this is Jesus the Risen Lord. He is in the habit of inviting all people, not only the special, affluent or royalty—but all people in spite of their state in life. Throughout all of Holy Scripture we see Jesus again and again saying “Come!” He invited the disciples to come follow Him. He told the followers of John the Baptizer to come and see where He dwelt. His gracious invitation first was to see where He dwelt and then to remain with Him which they did. But He also says “Come unto me, all you that labor and heavy laden and I will give you rest”.
There were personal invitations too. To Zacchaeus, the seeking sinner glimpsing Jesus from a sycamore tree, He said: "Come down: for today I must abide at thy house" (Luke 19:5). To His friend Lazarus, dead and bound in a tomb, He cried: “Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:43), and not even the grave could hold His companion but released him so that he came to His Lord.
There are other invitations from the Lord, with gracious promises to those who come, but note especially the final invitation of the Bible, “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Revelation 22:17).
Today, you and I see the Risen Lord reaching out to those who are too poor to even come up to Him or seek Him out. Grace, the true grace of the pierced One, enables these feeble tongued fishermen, too poor in their strength to catch even one fish, to now find 153 and no torn nets – God’s provision is ever and always to overfilling. That He has the charcoal fire going, ready for breakfast is comforting. That Jesus says, “Come, let's eat breakfast together” means that as far as He is concerned, the fellowship is not broken. Since Jesus and the Father are One (John 10:30), just as the Father cannot disown His children, so also, Jesus, the Son never breaks fellowship with Peter, or you, or me! What grace!!!!
When the Risen Lord invites, He is never short of supplying what we need. He knows what our greatest need is before we even ask for it. Today, this Risen Lord is not seated on the shore of the Sea of Galilee but in your midst right here in Redeemer Lutheran Church inviting you to come to Him with all of your burdens and baggage, troubles and trials, suffering and sins. He welcomes you to His table with wide open arms and shares with you not only daily bread, but the finest of wine and richest of food—His body and blood. PAUSE.
Tony Campolo, in his book, The Kingdom of God is a Party, tells the story of John Carlson, who noticed that in his town on the night of the senior prom only the kids who were preppy, polished, and popular were invited. The prom left out those whom, “the system” deemed rejects and losers. So Carlson came up with the idea of holding an event for teens that could not get a date because they were not all-state and were considered second rate. He called it the “reject prom.”
Have you even been rejected? Told you don’t belong? Have you ever experienced partner rejection? Peer rejection? Parental rejection? Parishioner rejection? Or perhaps you are stuck in the hell of deep-running personal rejection. If so welcome to the presence of the Risen Lord and the Ruler of the Universe Jesus Christ.
Here you will know you ARE accepted to this gala affair not because of what you own, who you are, do or don’t do, but because the Risen Lord, Jesus has made you His own special Treasured Possession. He loved you enough to suffer for you, die the death of criminal for you and rise again for you from the grave and now bids you to come to Him as you are—but He won’t keep you as you are. He will dress you for the grandest gala in eternity with His white robe of righteousness.
My beloved and His beloved, you may say, how can I come to the Lord just as I am? Don’t you notice that I am stooped with worry and burden, my face is marked with trouble and anguish, my arteries are clogged with sin and my hands are clutched with fits of anger and rage? That may be true—but the Risen Lord Jesus comes to you because you CAN’T come to Him. He takes you as you are, cleanses you and makes you whole and sets before you a table to overflowing. The Psalmist David put it this way, “You prepare a table before me” (Ps. 23:5). And what a table He prepares one that dispenses forgiveness and peace and joy.
Today, by the Spirit’s power hear the words of the Risen Lord as He speaks to you these gracious words of promise “Come!” Amen.
Now the peace…