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We have arrived at the epilogue of the Gospel of John.  We began way back in January with the first chapter and its grand opening “In the beginning was the word.”  And now we arrive near the end with this warm, quaint story of Jesus preparing breakfast for some of his followers.

This is an easy story to enter into.  Our imaginations can fill in the sensory experiences—the sound of the waves, the smell of the sea and the cooking fish, the feel of the sand on our feet, the taste of the breakfast, and the warm feelings of friendship and love.

Unlike the other gospels, in John we get a real sense of Jesus’ friendships with and affection for other people.  He is a wedding guest who enjoys good wine.  He weeps at Lazarus’ tomb.  Has a moment of emotional intimacy with Mary Magdalene in the garden on Easter morning.  The beloved disciple reclines on his breast during the Last Supper.  And here Jesus fixes breakfast.

I think fondly of waking up at my Grandma Nixon’s house when I was a child.  It wasn’t an alarm that awoke us.  It wasn’t even the sun streaming through the curtains or birds singing in the trees outside.  It was the smell of frying bacon, wafting up from the kitchen.  And there simply is no better way to be awakened than by smelling the bacon your grandmother is fixing.

Here at the close of this gospel, we get such a tender, friendly image of Jesus. 

It is also a story of communion–about a fellowship drawn together by Jesus around this meal and then sent out with a common mission.  These people, shaped by Jesus’ death and resurrection, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, are to spread the good news that we are invited by God into one life together.  And in their faithfulness to that mission, they bring Jesus’ work to fulfillment.


[Scott preached this sermon without manuscript, so if you want to hear more about the meaning of communion and how it prepares us for the work of God, then you’ll have to watch and or listen to the video.]


421 South 36th Street, Omaha Nebraska, 68131
(Located at the corner of 36th and Harney Streets)






First Central Congregational Church