Heard at Café: 4/18/2017

The penultimate Café began with the musical stylings of Jen Turnello, a spotlight on the paintings of Ebie McDonnell, and learning more about the weekly Compassion event, Knit-A-Square. Then Jeremy began his talk by talking about scars - how we all have them and how they tell a story of where we've been and mistakes we've made. They are reminders of pain from the past that we've healed from and that no longer hurt us. But sometimes we carry pain with us - internal hurts/scars - often in the form of regret or wishing things had turned out differently.

Peter, one of Jesus' disciples, knew this feeling all too well. While he had followed Jesus around and loved him deeply, Peter quickly turned his back on Jesus and claimed to have not known him when things got tough. This denial had been predicted by Jesus and happened as Jesus was being arrested and on his way to being crucified. Peter had refused to believe Jesus' prediction, so when it happened he was devastated by his ability to fall away so easily.
But then - 3 days after Jesus died - he was resurrected and came to find the disciples...
John 21:1-17
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. 6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. 7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. 
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
In this moment Jesus makes himself known to Peter, and reconnects with him. He asks him again, "Peter, do you love me?" Jesus asks 3 times, echoing the 3 times he had been denied, and gives Peter a moment to realize that he doesn't have to carry that pain with him. Jesus challenges him to look ahead rather than look back on what's already happens, and he shows forgiveness and grace in the process.

Jesus met Peter at the point where he probably felt hopeless and ashamed, and helps him realize that it's more important to move forward than to dwell on the hurt. Life didn't end for Peter in the moments where he felt weakest and most scared, and it doesn't end for us in similar moments either. We listened to the song "Roll Away Your Stone" by Mumford and Sons, and tried to put ourselves in the shoes of Peter - what it would've felt like before/during/after he had seen his Messiah again, and how he would go on to accomplish incredible things in the name of Jesus.

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