They emerge from the water, weary from a morning’s work with stiffness in their calloused fingers. The boats are marooned in their resting place on the beach. Later, they will be cleaned, nets repaired, supplies restored, sails inspected. But for now, hunger beckons.
The smell of a coal fire emanates from the other end of the beach. A familiar figure hovers over the glowing coals. Breath that once brought life into being, now blowing on the embers in order to make a hot breakfast.
It is still unbelievable that He is here. The dark days a few weeks ago are deeply imprinted in their memories. They fled, they wept, they hid. They wondered what they had done with those last three years of their lives. They feared arrest and imprisonment. And then the women came that morning, bearing news too good to be understood.
Now some sense of normalcy has returned, as absurd as that seems. They are back at work, in regular routines and places. The repercussions of Jesus’ resurrection — what would they be? What did it mean? What would happen now? He’s still talking about leaving — when will that be? What will become of them then?
For now, breakfast. They will sit down around the warm fire, smell the coal, and hear the sizzle of fresh fish. They will hear His voice again, giving thanks for the bread that will be broken — that has been broken. For them.
(John 21: 1-14)