My parents love to throw parties.
They love people, and the cooking, and getting folks together. It’s really something they enjoy. Last year, they built a metal shed to roast a whole pig in our backyard, and this year they are going to try it again with a sheep.
Fun times for sure… But eventually the party ends. The people go home, the clean-up begins and then it’s back to life as usual. They have jobs and routines and things that need to get done. And so when the action has stopped and the lights come on, it’s time to go on home and get back to life. That’s just what people do; after all, it’s what we are supposed to do.
We find something similar with the disciples in the Gospel of John after Jesus’s death and resurrection. Post resurrection, they head on back to routine and what they have always done. Peter and the others were fishermen before they were disciples. Now that the party is over, why not go back to be a fisherperson?
And so they do.
But the thing is, some people just don’t know when the party is over and to go home… in this case, Jesus. He just keeps showing up.
When everyone else is ready to put things to rest and get back to same-old-same-old, including the Scribes, Pharisees and even the disciples, Jesus reminds them that it ain’t over. That this thing that he started, it keeps going on. The routine of life before has been altered and the disciples, who were a part of it, are a part of it for life.
And so Peter and others are reminded that God’s presence with them is a constant – and that every moment of their lives from then on are lived following Jesus and that the party just keeps rolling on. Think parade with a whole lot of gospel! And so they heal, teach, preach, share and care for folks all the way from Jerusalem to the far reaches of Rome. And when one of them died, another had already stood up in her and his place.
And they spoke of God’s victory over death, and they lived it in how they cared for their neighbors and enemies. And just when you thought this Easter party might be over, Jesus calls their name just as he called your name, and now this celebration keeps caring on, and there’s no sign of God stopping it anytime soon!
(I’m glad that you are a part of what God is doing! Perhaps one of the coolest things about God is that he continually uses folks like you and me!)