I recently had tapas with friends, and this was on my plate. There is little more complex than a chunk of grilled, fresh sardine on a piece of bread with a leaf of parlously. And little more simple either. The complexity is in the crisp bread and slight charcoal of its grill marks – the crisp skin of the fish and its tender meat and the slight hint of green in the olive oil. The parsley – a touch of color against the golds, silvers, wets, drys, steamed, grilled, toasted of the sardine.
When Jesus rises from the dead, He does not hold a rally and scream out “I told ya so!” to everyone who had just murdered and lied about him. He simply, kindly, tenderly, quietly roasted some fish for his friends – friends who had abandoned Him -and waited on the beach, within their sight, after their long night of hard work – and His.
What is Jesus extending to you and to me? What quiet, easy-to-miss gift is Jesus sweetly offering in the quiet of the early morning on the beaches after our hard days? How does Jesus’ showing up for us, surprise us? Not only for the event, but for the choice of location and offering? And what does it take to notice Him there, one hand over the flames to test the heat, one hand open in welcome to come, sit, eat, rest. And eyes sparkling with love even in the echoes of those previous days.