Off in the east, the sky was slowly getting brighter. Soon the day would dawn and this long wasted night of futile fishing would come to a close. Peter stood there in the boat, tangled nets draped over the side and encircling his feet, thinking about these last few weeks. He had gone fishing to forget those days just past, maybe even to begin again, the life catching fish. But what good did it do him, not a single fish caught. Peter stood there fixated, thinking, “Oh Jesus, why? Why did it have to be this way? Could you not have saved yourself?”
Those early days had been intoxicating. Crowds gathered around Jesus wherever he went. Sick people were made well. Darkened hearts saw the light. Sin-bound slaves found freedom. He could even raise the dead. But slowly the shadows began to fall across that bright scene. The darkness deepened. In secret corners his enemies gathered and plotted his death. For a while Peter had actually felt that one with such power in his hands to heal sickness and to raise the dead would never allow himself to be put to death.
But gradually it dawned on them that Jesus would allow himself to be taken, and at last came the darkest hour in the history of the world. Jesus was put to death. Even he, then, was defeated by death. Then when despair was at its blackest and hope had utterly faded, there came the news that Jesus was alive. What joy! What hope! But time had moved on and now Peter wasn’t sure what he should do, what did Jesus want Peter to do? So Peter did what he always did when nothing else seemed clear—he went fishing.
Suddenly, breaking into his thoughts comes a voice from the shore: a man on the beach asking us for fish. “We don’t have any!” they answer. What’s this, he wants us to try the right side of the boat. Well, why not, what have we got to lose, it is almost time to go home anyway. Cast the nets. Look out! Hold on! Would you look at all the fish! Why the net is overflowing, we can’t even pull it back into the boat.
And then they cry went up, “It’s the Lord, it’s Jesus! Peter was so excited to see Jesus again, that he immediately plunging into the sea and swims to shore, leaving the others to bring in the boat. Peter has gone fishing and found the Lord.
Do you remember the days of old when you would be walking down the main street of the little town where you lived, ready to pop in to the drugstore or the barber shop only to find it closed, with a hand printed sign in the window which read, “Gone Fishin!” That is exactly what Simon Peter does in this morning’s text: John 21:1-19.
So join us on Sunday to hear Rev Glenn share more in his sermon, “Gone Fishin'”