This Sunday we read the wonderful story of Jesus calling Peter and other disciples as they fish. In a familiar pattern, they don’t recognize him until he performs a miracle. As the others haul in their tremendous catch, Peter swims to meet Jesus from whom he receives a calling and a commissioning: Take care of God’s people. Feed my sheep.
Peter faced grave obstacles to the success of that mission–his self-doubt, his sinfulness, as well as cosmic, religious, cultural, and imperial forces lined against him like the forces of Thanos or the army of the Dead descending from the North. He could never have dreamed how powerful the tiny seed planted in him and his friends would grow.
We also face grave uncertainties and obstacles as individuals, as a church, as a species.
To succeed, like Peter and all fisherfolk, we should pray for calm seas, fair skies, and following winds. And especially this Friday and Saturday as once again we step out in faith to make God’s love known through the abundant food and fellowship of St. Luke’s Barbecue. It’s a miracle. Come to eat starting at 11am Saturday. Come to help anytime between 4pm Friday and 4pm Saturday.
We should rejoice as well in the greater miracle we too often take for granted, the weekly celebration of the resurrection and appearance of our Lord in Holy Eucharist, God’s feeding and commissioning of us to continue in the fellowship and mission begun between Jesus and Peter.
And third, we should start to “Talk Creation Care,” which I am fully convinced is the epic battle our time – our Infinity War, our Battle of Winterfell. Carlo Uchello will lead a discussion this Sunday at 9am about what the Episcopal Church is doing and promoting as ways that we can take positive action to help respond to climate change. But we will have to find ways to continue that discussion and most importantly to act persistently, individually and collectively, to mitigate the on-going catastrophe of climate change.
When Jesus made that charcoal fire by the sea of Galilee I am sure he knew a lot of things Peter never dreamed of. He certainly knew one day Peter’s efforts would result in a world-wide family of God with more power than a thousand Roman empires. Power enough to feed the world and face the upheaval of nations and species caused by our equally powerful appetite. He probably knew that one day our habit of burning fossil fuels and consuming large amounts of meat would come back to haunt us. He knew we would have a devil of a time restraining and reigning ourselves in and working together. But he also knew that the solution to all our problems would ultimately be found through the same simple mission he was delivering to Peter: Abide in my love, the love of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, and work in the fellowship of disciples to care for God’s people, the stewards of God’s creation.