Come and Have Breakfast
The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish.When they landed, they saw a fire there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” – John 21:8-12 excerpts (NIV)
Years ago, a young man started coming to worship. He sat in the back and spoke to no one. He stood for the hymns, but couldn’t get through them. He’d crumple, close the book, sit back down. The pastor noticed him and wanted to talk to him, but he fled before the benediction.
A deacon noticed him, too. She began sitting in his pew. One morning, passing the peace, she made eye contact. He didn’t look away. He seemed like a skittish rescue pup, she said. She didn’t mean it condescendingly; it was a tender observation.
On Communion Sunday, he didn’t stir when people started forward. She whispered, “Coming?”
“No. I’ve done some bad things.”
She nodded, waited, then said, “But do you want to come?”
His pain showed. “I can’t.”
“Well, you’d be welcome.”
He stayed behind.
The next Sunday he asked if there’d be Communion. She said no, but maybe something could be arranged. Something was.
Eventually, he moved away. Then a note came. It started with verses from John 21 about Peter the denier, and Jesus making breakfast for him.
He thanked the pastor for having served him Communion in the parlor after church that day. He said he still felt unworthy, but also grateful, because his unworthiness had made him a magnet for Jesus, or at least for one of Jesus’ deacons. He said he still sits in the back of his new church. Still can’t get through the hymns. But he lets Christ feed him.
“No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, come and have breakfast.” – Jesus Christ
Mary Luti is a long time seminary educator and pastor, author of Teresa of Avila’s Way and numerous articles, and founding member of The Daughters of Abraham, a national network of interfaith women’s book groups.