3rd Weekend of Easter (C/RCL) April 9 & 10: First Holy Communion

Third Weekend of Easter (C/RCL): First Holy Communion

John 21:1-19

April 9-10, 2016

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Manasquan, NJ


Who are the people in this Gospel story?

·         Jesus (risen Lord!)

·         Simon Peter (who denied knowing our Lord 3 times….)

·         Thomas called the Twin (who doubted His resurrection….)

·         Nathanael of Cana in Galilee (“Can anything good come from Nazareth?”)

·         Sons of Zebedee (James & John) (who vied for places of honor & power, at Jesus’ right and left hand in glory)

·         2 other disciples  (1 of whom is “that disciple whom Jesus loved.”)

How do these people, Jesus’ disciples, know that Jesus loves them?

·         He performs a miracle for them!  They’d fished all night and caught nothing.  Jesus tells them to cast the net to the right side of the boat, and they catch so many (153!) fish that they have a hard time hauling it to shore.

·         He makes breakfast for them (grilled fish and bread).

·         He died for them!

Why does Jesus ask Simon Peter 3 times if he loves Him?

·         Simon Peter denied 3 times that he even knew Jesus.  (BTW: the courtyard where Peter denied it also had a charcoal fire…. John 18:18)

How does Jesus want Simon Peter to show that he loves Jesus?

·         “Feed my lambs.” (John 21:15)

·         “Tend my sheep.” (John 21:16)

·         “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:17)

·         “Follow me.” (John 21:19)

What does Jesus mean by, “Feed my lambs?”  (Was Jesus a shepherd??  Yes, the Good Shepherd!!)  Take care of the flock!  What does a shepherd do to take care of the flock?  Feed and water and protect them!  Lead them to green pastures and still waters….  How do I help the Lord take care of this flock?

How do we know Jesus loves us?

How does Jesus want us to show that we love Him?

·         Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  How do we do that??

Worship the Lord!  Be reverent.  Read God’s Word: “Word of God, Word of Life.”  Come to this holy Supper often!  Miss JJ said she heard of a child who asked, “If this is First Holy Communion, when is Second Holy Communion?”  Hopefully next week!  Now that you are able to receive, love to receive!  If you ask your parents to bring you here, I’ll bet they will!  You’ll be giving them a gift by asking – because then they’ll hear the Word and enjoy the Supper, too.  Sometimes we convince ourselves we’re too busy with other things.  But nothing else is more important than opening our hands and heart to the gifts of Word and Sacrament our Lord longs to give us.  Nothing is more important than meeting Jesus here each week!  And taking Him home with you!

·         Jesus also says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  He gives us a really hard assignment: “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) 

How do we do that??  E.g…..

We can’t do it without God’s help.  We come here to obey God’s commandment (“Keep the Sabbath holy”), to worship God, to hear the Word, to receive Holy Communion and be forgiven of our sins, to sing God’s praises.  We also come for strength and joy and inspiration.  Worship is like a filling station!  How far will a car go if it has no gas in the tank?  How well will a phone work if it has no charge?   I come to be “filled up” with faith, hope and love.  I can never get enough of those gifts, so I come as often as I can!

            Jesus fed the disciples because He loved them.  He fed them, too, so they could feed others.  Jesus feeds us because He loves us.  He feeds us so that we, too, can feed others.  Share the gift you have received.  It’s the best way to say, “Thank You.”  By loving others through our actions we echo Peter’s words: “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.”  Amen

Pastor Mary Virginia Farnham