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3rd Sunday in Easter - May 1, 2022

Updated: May 9, 2022

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of each heart be pleasing to you, O God, my strength and my Redeemer. +

Good morning.

Can I just tell you now that I both love and hate this passage from John’s Gospel?

It’s true.

If you were at 8 o’clock last Sunday or another liturgical church, then you heard about the disciple Thomas who doubted. Today, for many reasons, you get a doubting, perplexed Tammy. But if you just hang with me this morning, I think we can get to some Good News.

I am a 39-year educator who began as an English teacher, and my favorite part of English was teaching kids how to write. Graphic organizers, topic sentences, transitions, details to support your thesis. These details had to be specific and have purpose in order to move the story or argument forward in an organized, easy to follow manner resulting in a nice. tight. essay. You know…all the good stuff!

I have also shared with you previously how after some negative experiences, I abandoned church and the Bible for decades. Instead, reading books and/or listening to others speak of Spirituality and other means of having relationship with Divine.

One person that I read and listened to extensively was retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, who wrote books such as, Re-Claiming the Bible for the Non-Religious World, and Resurrection: Myth or Reality?

Another favorite was Marcus Borg who wrote Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously but Not Literally and Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Power and How They Can be Restored.

I also read Marianne Williamson’s A Woman’s Worth which introduced me to the feminine Divine.

All of these and others caused me to rethink everything I had been taught to blindly believe about God and church without questioning or personal discernment.

Bringing those backgrounds with me, I then prepare for sermons by praying and reading a commentary or two.

So, with all of that in mind, when I read this 21st chapter of John, here’s how my mind worked—

  • The end of chapter 20 seems like the concluding paragraph: Jesus did many other signs, but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and through believing have life in his name. Good conclusion! But wait …there’s another whole chapter…?

  • And who wrote this anyway, because the whole style and imagery changed from chapter 20 to chapter 21?

  • And the scene suddenly shifted from Jerusalem to Galilee and the Sea of Tiberias.

  • I wonder how much time has passed.

  • Why are some of the disciples named and others aren’t?

  • Nathanael? I never heard his name as a disciple before.

  • Is Peter going fishing because he has fully returned to his previous, pre-Jesus life?

  • It sounds like the others are just joining him out of habit. Maybe they are all depressed.

  • They have to still be reeling from the whole crucifixion/resurrection ordeal.

  • Why are they fishing at night?

  • They didn’t catch anything all night and this strange, unknown person calls them “children”

  • Wow! How awesome would it be to hear Jesus actually call you “children”!

  • He tells them to toss the nets on the “right” side.

  • Is that right as opposite of left, or right as opposite of wrong?