I watched a live production of The Passion the other day…filmed in New Orleans, it was a very contemporary version of the classic story of the days leading up to Christ Jesus’ resurrection. I recommend you click on the link so you can watch it. It was an exciting event, the performance so emotional….And, while it captures the biblical story (and makes it modern-day approachable), it misses the point.—
Don’t stop there! Don’t stop with the last supper, or with C.J. up on a cross– hung on a wall. Jesus was all about the resurrection experience…all about YOU, being your spiritual self, NOW. Easter is really all about the morning meal on the shore with his disciples after his resurrection.
A friend, Steve O., brought this poem ‘The Morning Meal’ into our last Wednesday Testimony meeting here at our little Christian Science Society in Charlevoix, MI. During the winter months, we are a small group that gathers around a round table…having an upper-room experience, if you know what I mean. I’m so glad he shared it as we head into our Easter celebrations.
I think you will enjoy it. I like the calm measured way the poem unfolds. Don’t hurry through it, read it out loud to yourself. With every sunrise, think of this morning meal…
The Morning Meal (Thomas at the Sea of Tiberias)
Yes, it was here. We pulled the boat up there,
And here he had made the fire, ---just such a morn
As this. I remember his hands moving
To and fro, giving us the bread and the fish'
And the water lapping. It was a clear as now;
It lapped against the boat, half in, half out
Of the water, just as you hear it lap, lap, lap.
We were tired after the night. I lay on the grass
And ate and watched those hands. He was talking then;
It might have been the same as before but it wasn't. I tired to think it was, that it had never been--- That dreadful night, those days when all seemed lost, And then his coming again --it was all a dream-- But I knew it wasn't, that he wouldn't stay, he'd go' That, when the light got stronger, he would go. -- Yes, I heard what he said, I wasn't drowsy, I was awake, --only it was so peaceful there -- Heaven come down to earth? yes, that was it. I heard him and I seemed to hear everything else. As if my thought touched his in some clear radiance. Do you understand? As if it was all new, That I'd never heard it before. A bird sang and I saw A caterpillar crawl across the grass and it was new And lovely; and still his voice went on. I sat up then, I think; he was talking to Peter, talking of love; And I saw love, I saw what he meant. I saw That we were to be shepherds and fishers, too. I looked at him again, straight up this time And saw once more those well-remembered eyes; It was like sinking in a well of love. And yet it seemed as if they pierced me through. And I thought: "Yes, I can, I can love, I can do What he wants me to; I won't fail." And all the hate And spite and wariness and bitter sense of failure went. I didn't hate anyone, --not the priests, nor Herod, no, not even Judas. I knew the Christ was greater than them all. I felt whatever happened I'd not fear, Not in the same way ever again. I'd heal, And guide and save, -- that's what he meant: That's what he wanted all of us to do. I saw it -- it was like a light from heaven, -- So clear, so bright, I had to close my eyes. And when I'd opened them again he'd gone. Peter and John were standing by the fire; It was ashes now, the fish and bread were done. Peter was gazing out across the lake, John's head upon his shoulder; the sun's rays Fell softly on his face. I never saw So sad a look before, but underneath It seemed as if there was a mighty calm. John raised his head and spoke, and Peter smiled As if a blessing broke upon them both. A still clear light was glowing in John's eyes. I thought: "How like the Master he has grown." Then Peter said: "Come, gather up the catch. We must be going. We have work to do. Jerusalem awaits us, --and the world." (I'm sorry, but I can't locate the author yet, and please let me know if you know).
Jesus Appears at the Sea of Galilee
1After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. 2There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. 3Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
4But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. 5Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. 6And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. 7Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. 8And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
9As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.10Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. 11Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
12Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 13Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. 14This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
And, because I love Hafiz so very much, here’s a sweet, simple one of his poems too:
The Day Sky
Let us be like
Two falling stars in the day sky.
Let no one know of our sublime beauty
As we hold hands with God
Into a sacred existence that defies --
Every description of ecstasy
“To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings.”
Mary Baker Eddy
‘Blessings and joy for you this Easter, and always–