Daily Devotion for April 28, 2011
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
This extraordinary Romanian Orthodox song, "O, Maicuta sfanta" (Oh Holy Mother) is performed by Teodora Paunescu Tuca. I'm sorry I can't translate the beautiful lyrics. The refrain translates something like, "Do not leave, Mother, To perish on the way, For we are your sons and tears."
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
He made a pit and dug it out, And has fallen into the ditch which he made.
His trouble shall return upon his own head, And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.
John 21:1-14 (ESV)
Jesus Fills the Nets of Seven Disciples
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way:
Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. �I�m going out to fish,� Simon Peter told them, and they said, �We�ll go with you.� So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, �Friends, haven�t you any fish?�
�No,� they answered.
He said, �Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.� When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, �It is the Lord!� As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, �It is the Lord,� he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
Jesus said to them, �Bring some of the fish you have just caught.� So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, �Come and have breakfast.�
None of the disciples dared ask him, �Who are you?� They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Notes on the Scripture
The first importance of this passage is simply to reinforce the reality of Jesus' resurrection. Unlike the first two, this appearance happens outside; even if it was not witnessed by the public, it was in a public place. Again, Christ shows that his actual body has arisen; he eats.
But as we have come to expect, the more important meaning lies in symbolism. Jesus had promised to make Andrew and Peter "fishers of men" when he first met them; and now, at the end, he shows that he has done so. Before Jesus, their nets came up empty; they could not save men, because Christ's mission had not been fulfilled. Now, after the resurrection, their mission has begun. Moreover, the net does not break; Christ's salvation will not fail. There is no limit to the number of souls that the apostles can save.
Peter had taken off his outer garment, but puts it back on. Peter had denied Christ, but from this time until his death, he will not deny Christ again. Instead, he will become an outspoken witness, wrapping himself in a cloak of holiness and fearlessness. And he jumps into the water, a substance that Christ has repeatedly used as a metaphor for his spirit.