Got Fish?

17 Apr


Luke 24: 41-42

41While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence.

Today’s scripture abounds with potential sermon themes.

I hate that.

The endless possibilities practically overwhelm me: hospitality, seeing Jesus in the stranger, walking with Jesus, one’s faith journey, living out the resurrection, witness, believing, seeing, breaking bread, the eucharist. You name it, it’s in Luke 24:13-49. Ugh.

But the biggest problem for me isn’t the overwhelming number of sermon wannabes as much as the fact that I don’t even like any of them. They feel worn out. Tired. It’s sort of how I feel when preaching the prodigal son– I just can’t drum up one more even vaguely original word.

To make matters worse, as I jot down my first thoughts upon reading the scripture, I feel myself drifting off. I’m sure Fred Craddock would agree that if the pastor drifts off when writing the sermon, the congregation can be counted on for a communal snore.

The only line in the entire 36 line text that grabs me at all is when Jesus says “Do you have anything to eat?” How often have I stood in front of the open door of our refrigerator only to conclude we have nothing to eat (a very American consumerism conclusion of course–the more accurate statement is “we don’t have anything I want to eat”). Or what about when it is time to make dinner and Don and I look at each other and say “is there anything in the house to cook?” We’re usually on our way home from somewhere and unfortunately the question ends in our swerving the car into the closest restaurant, when we really should swerve into Hyvee and buy real food and go home prepare it.

There is some consensus among the commentaries that Jesus asks for food because the desire for food, and the subsequent eating of it (no one discusses digestion and elimination but maybe that’s OK), would prove that he was a flesh and blood human and not a ghost. Jesus’s request for food was a clear demonstration of the glory of God, the reality of the resurrection, and the nearness of the Kingdom.

Actually, I think he was hungry. And he did what we all do when we’re hungry– he opened the refrigerator door and stood in front of it. Well, in a 1st century kind of way. He asked the age-old question “do we have anything to eat?” And his friends gave him food and he ate it and they probably ate also. And then suddenly everything was right between them. They were friends again. They gave him food and he opened their minds. He opened their minds and they believed. He said, “Now it’s time for you guys to carry on without me.” And they did.

What are you eating tonight?
See You in the Pews,

Really good fish recipe
The facts about Aqua farming (everything you never wanted to know).
Why the Mayo Clinic thinks we should eat fish.


Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Blogging With Jane


Tags: , ,

2 responses to “Got Fish?

  1. Kathleen Morrish

    April 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Well put. We need to make sure basic needs are met before we can help with anything else. Food, physical safety, etc……

  2. John

    April 19, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Jesus appearing and requesting food because he had some sort of physical hunger as a consequence of being resurected, even if a proof of resurection (along with seeing the wounds in the hands and feet), takes us to the question of the phsical resurection. His body, tnough, was (is?) more than an apperation or figment of imagination, and it was apparently something more than a restored human body…with all the restrictions, implications and assumptions that notion leads to. Ultimately the idea of Christ cannot be limited by or resstrained by worldly barriers such as walls and doors…or even death.

    Rather than Jesus appearing due to some need on his part, he appeared on their (our) part and need. Presumably their coming together involved multiple reasons–security behind closed doors behind closed doors being one. Another apparently involved sharing their food—and this was the occasion of Jesus appearing–and the sharing—not the nutrition–formed the cohension and ultimate realization of purpose. Together they came to realize they shared the idea and spirit of Jesus. This realization came to them when they were gathered together, not to each indiviudally and alone…although that has very often been the case since.


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