Breakfast. I love it. It’s my favourite meal of the day. Whether tucking in to a ‘full-English’ at a roadside greasy spoon, picking apart a pair of smoky kippers in a posh Edinburgh hotel, slicing open a warm, succulent cantaloupe on a country lane in Northern Australia, allowing the scent fragrant Nasi Lemak to fill my nostrils in Malaysian hawker stall, or a indulging in a hearty bowl of biscuits and gravy in a diner in Utah, you cannot beat a good breakfast. I’m sure you can think of your own favourites, and yes, I confess, I have yet to try codfish and potatoes (don’t tell anyone).
Therefore, it may come as no surprise that my favourite passage in the whole Bible is one where the resurrected Jesus makes a BBQ, and says to Simon Peter, “Come and have breakfast.”
The scene was the shore of the Sea of Galilee — an inland lake — at dawn, and Jesus got a fire going before beginning to grill some bread and fish. Simon Peter and a few of the other disciples were about hundred yards offshore, in their boats fishing, when Jesus called out to them, “Have you caught anything?”
At this point we need to rewind back to the first time Jesus met Simon Peter, some three years previously. The disciples were fishing then too, and Jesus asked them to drop their nets to catch a huge haul of fish. Simon Peter’s response to this miracle was to drop to his knees in awe and give his life to following this itinerant rabbi. Yet over the past few weeks it had all gone desperately and horribly wrong. Jesus, their leader, their master, and their hope for the future, had been crushed and brutally murdered. The disciples, including Simon Peter, had deserted Jesus, and worse, Simon Peter had denied ever knowing him. Shocked, numb, demoralised, and utterly broken, the disciples went back to their old boats, pushed offshore, and picked up where they had left off.
As Jesus stood on the shore of that lake, from the water the disciples couldn’t see his face, but I wonder if Jesus wore a cheeky grin and had a twinkle in his eye. He knew they hadn’t caught anything, and so again he called out to them to drop their nets for a huge haul of fish, and waited for them to click.
It didn’t take long. Simon Peter launched himself off the boat and swam to shore and stood, dripping in front of his Lord. Jesus nodded to the boat that was landing, asked Simon Peter to bring some of the fish they had caught, and Simon Peter turned and helped drag in the huge haul of fish before bringing some to the table. Jesus said, “Come and have breakfast.”
There is so much more to this story — a thousand sermons that could be taught and a thousand lessons that could be learned — however, there is one faith lesson I would like us to take away this week.
Jesus had done everything for his disciples and for all humanity, and in a sense, God didn’t ‘need’ Simon Peter to do anything, yet he called him to bring something to the table. God valued his contribution and this was reflected in the symbolism of the fish, and asking Simon Peter to bring some to the meal.
Simon Peter was a fisherman and so he brought fish. God honoured that. But Simon Peter’s skills were not limited to fishing. His gifts of character were boldness, loyalty, a capacity for great love, and strong leadership. Simon Peter was to continue his God-given calling to be a ‘fisher of people’, to net a huge haul of people for God’s kingdom, and to be the one on whom Jesus would build his church.
Today, God calls each one of us to be his ministers. He honours what you and I bring to the table. Each of us has different gifts, talents, wealth, time, skills, and personalities that God values and can be used in God’s kingdom here on earth. And in the same way that Jesus did previously on that very shore — where he multiplied bread and fish — as with Simon Peter, God is able to take our small offerings and multiply them.
What is it about you that God honours and values? What gifts of character do you possess? What talents or skills do you have? Perhaps spend a moment to think about them, reflect on them, and jot them down on a piece of paper, remembering that God is able to take our small offerings and multiply them — to make them a superabundant blessing.
So, my prayer this week is simple. May God use all you bring to the table for his kingdom and for his glory, and may you be a superabundant blessing in this world. Oh, and importantly, may you hear our Lord say to you, “Come and have breakfast.”