Sunday 1st May

John 21. v 1-19               Peter

 I had to come back; there seemed no point in staying.
Jesus was gone, our work with him finished.
I had to rebuild my business, and my life.
Try to forget the last three years.
Good while it lasted, but all good things come to an end.

I have started fishing again;
not doing too well at it either.
My hearts not in it, and somewhere in the background
a voice nags:  Fishers of men, not fish for their plates”
I have to get back to being Simon the fisherman,
not Peter the Rock of the Church.

We had been fishing all night and caught nothing.
Failed – just like my life!
I can’t get anything right any more.
I smelled a fire burning, and saw the man on the beach
Just as John said “It’s Jesus!”
(Trust him to know – he always was the favourite)
“Got any fish?” he asked. “None” I said
“Fish on the other side” he called. So we did –
and caught so many the nets broke.
I jumped into the water and waded to shore.
“Bring some fish, Peter and we’ll eat” he said.

When we finished Jesus beckoned me to walk with him.
He stopped and looked at me, but I could not meet his eye.
“Peter, do you love me?” he said.
I looked at my feet and whispered, “Lord, you know that I do.”
“Then feed my lambs” And that was once.

We walked on, and he stopped and said again
“Peter, do you love me?”
I looked at him and said, tears in my voice,  “Lord, you know that I love you”
“Then feed my sheep” he said.   And that was twice.

We walked a bit further and he stopped again, gripping my arms.
When I looked into his face his eyes held mine.
“Peter, do you love me”
And I knew! I was back to another early morning, when the cock heralded a new day.
Three times!
Three times I denied  and three times he has asked.
I looked straight at him, my voice firm and confident.
“Lord, you know that I love you” He smiled. “Then feed my lambs” he said.

And suddenly the world was right again.
Whatever he led me to do, I could do.
I can look God in the eye, because he has forgiven me.
He didn’t have to say it. I know that I am!

Revd Barbara Bennett