“When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea.”
You just have to love Peter, don’t you? In John’s gospel, more so than the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, it is Peter who has the best lines, the strangest responses to things going on around him and is, well…PETER.
For me this image of Peter, dropping everything–only just barely caring about his clothes–and hurling himself into the sea to get to Jesus is comical, and if seen in the light of discipleship exactly what we should do when we encounter the risen Christ. We who encounter the risen Christ drop everything and run–or in Peter’s case: swim–with joyful abandon to our risen Lord and Savior.
More to the point, with the rush of Holy Week and Easter only a few days behind us, I wonder if we have continued to even look for the risen Christ, or have we gone back to business as usual in our lives? And to be fair, our lives have started back up again: “back to normal,” someone said to me yesterday. The memories of bells clanging with every “alleluia” said in church a distant memory. I think that’s a shame. Easter does not happen only once a year for us who are followers of Christ, for those who proclaim that Christ is risen (alleluia!–cue maniacal bell ringing). For Christians, the joy and miracle of the resurrection is a gift that we are freely given every day.
As Christians we are a “resurrection people” believing in the awesome power and infinite love of God for us. It is a gift that is freely given to all of creation. But do we ever stop and actually look for the risen Christ? And where would we see the risen Christ in our lives if we did bother to stop and look?
My hope for us is that we continue to look for–and find–the risen Christ with the same near reckless abandon and joy that Peter had upon hearing that the person 100 yards off shore was Jesus. I hope that when we do find the risen Christ in our lives that we run with joy to that which is the resurrection for us. And finally, I hope that when we recognize the risen Christ in front of us that we give thanks and praise to God for the love that God has for all of us in this beautiful creation.
In the name of our risen Lord and Savior,