Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Bring your own fish

Matt wrote yesterday to share the news that Conrad Gempf has a new book coming out. The book is Mealtime Habits: 40 Encounters with Jesus. Why mealtime encounters? Gempf quotes fellow New Testament scholar Robert Karris in saying, "Jesus was killed because of the way he ate."

Mealtime Habits of the MessiahThe book does go beyond meals, but all of it is in the typically Gempf style, which includes an attitude more common to a magazine style of writing than what one normally finds from a teacher of scripture. Yet, when we studied his book, Jesus Asked, at King of Peace, we found there to be a lot of substance in what Gempf writes.

Here's an excerpt from the new book in which Gempf writes about the miraculous catch of fish and breakfast on the beach that followed Jesus' resurrection. The story is found in John 21. Here's what Gempf says,
Jesus is frying fish. He supplied a miraculous catch.What does he do and say next?

He makes just the right number of fish levitate out of the net and directly into the pan, right? No.

He says, “Have some of these fish already in my pan”? Wrong.

“Bring me some of the fish I’ve supplied for you”? Nope.

Here it is. He says, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”

Excuse me? The fish you have caught? What did they have to do with it? By themselves they caught nothing.And it took them the whole night to do it.

Want to know what Jesus is really like? It doesn’t get much better than this. He wants us to bring “our” fish, “our” talents, “our” service, “our” faith. Never mind that none of these are “ours” except as a gift. But he’s serious. He’s willing to regard them as ours; he wants our gifts, generously crediting us with generosity.

Have breakfast with Jesus: BYOF.
Jesus supplies the fish then counts them as what the disciples bring to the fire. Gempf always seems to find something more, something deeper in each passage of scripture he encounters and then shares what he finds in such an enjoyable way. Here's a longer excerpt from the new book.


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