Getting Back to Normal…

This week’s gospel reading from John (21:1-19) informs us about what Peter and the other disciples do following the disturbing events of Good Friday and the amazing  new life of Jesus as begun on Easter morning.   As is often the case for any person following a huge, life changing event, we believe life must get back to normal.   Thus for Peter, he says to his buddies, “I’m going fishing”  and they respond, “We will go with you.”  They are doing their normal thing, trying to get their lives back to what they were before.  We, like Peter, all seek the normal (whatever that is…?), but Jesus challenges him with a new normal on the shoreline that new morning.  Jesus insists on asking Peter if he loves him.  When Peter keeps answering yes, yes, yes, Jesus insists that Peter must tend and feed His sheep.  Could Jesus be insisting upon a “new normal” for Peter and others?  That in loving Jesus, in this new time after the unsettling events of the first Easter, something has changed the “normal?”  When we admit that we love Jesus are we changed somehow away from our old “normal?”  It seems to me that the manner in which Jesus desires us to follow Him ( in His new normal for us) involves a normal that includes loving, tending, and feeding others in new ways.  Are we being called upon to love others in ways we had never before thought we could love?   Is Jesus’ appeal to Peter an appeal to open his heart to a new normal? 

I’m drawn to the words of the hymn “Lord, Let My Heart Be Good Soil”

Lord, let my heart be good soil, open to the seed of your word.  Lord, let my heart be good soil, where love can grow and peace is understood.  When my heart is hard, break the stone away. When my heart is cold, warm it with the day. When my heart is lost, lead me on your way. Lord, let my heart, Lord, let my heart, Lord, let my heart be good soil.   (Text and Music: Handt Hanson – ELW #512)

As you enter your third week of Easter 2010, has your normal been changed by what happened on April 2nd and April 4th?

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