Sermon May 22, 2022: Rerun, Part 2: Three Lessons (Eastertide 5)

Image by artesitalia via Pixabay.

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/712483744

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c3h3f0VrgoV

———————————————–

If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: (St. Teresa of Avila:)

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which   He looks
Compassion on this world…
Yours are the feet with which he walks   to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.


HYMN 469 Jesus Is All The World To Me
Jesus is All The World to Me ~ Mercy’s Well ~ lyric video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnQxWqg-NDE

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer − Almighty God, through Jesus Christ you overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life. Grant that we, who celebrate the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may, by the renewing of your Spirit arise from the death of sin to the life of righteousness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN 557 Blest Be The Tie That Binds
Blest Be The Tie That Binds – Gaither
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUUE9agdb_A

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: Rerun, Part 2: Three Lessons
John 21
Series: Instructions for Resurrection and Revival

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Saturday Video AudioWesley Sermon Audio

——————————————————————————————————–
SERMON NOTES

John 21:3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing. 4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”

9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 

21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!”

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.   – Howard Thurman

————————————————————————————————————-

HYMN 130 God Will Take Care Of You
The Oak Ridge Boys – God Will Take Care of You (Live)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ORXnfjQAXA

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION: Please recommit your life to the service of Jesus as Lord with the words of The Prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

Today we’re looking at John, chapter 21, which seems to be an unexpected experience. It is the last appearance of Jesus, the resurrected Jesus, between Easter and the Ascension Day, when Jesus rises up to heaven. You kind of wonder … why? Perhaps there was a reason why Jesus needed to make this appearance … to give a little bit of a course correction to things that are going on.

When you think about it, you have the Apostle Peter, who, even though he denied Jesus three times, he still considers himself the leader of the Church. And I have this feeling, I guess because I might be the same way, I have this feeling that in the 50 days between Easter and Pentecost, Peter is busy making plans. He’s busy forming strategies, because in his mind, Peter needs to tell people how it needs to happen so that God’s will can be done. And perhaps down deep inside, Peter thinks if I’m not there to tell them what to do, they will completely fail. So I just find myself wondering what’s on Peter’s mind that would require Jesus to step into history to straighten him out.

Well, here’s the first thing, is there going to be enough money? Back in Luke, chapter five, we had a similar example of what is about to happen. And I think that Peter was really worried that if he followed Jesus, would the bills get paid? Would his family be provided for? I understand that.

Oddly enough, my father was a math teacher. And every now and then I would get up in the morning and I would find him drinking coffee at the dining room table surrounded by little slips of paper. And I would say, “Dad, what are you doing?” He said, “Well, I’m just calculating out how long it will be before your mother and I completely run out of money, and then we’ll have nothing to live on.” And he never did tell me the date. I’m quite sure it was far into the future, but he would do this repeatedly. And he’d calculate in inflation rates. And he’d calculate in the taxes. And he would work out all the math to know just how long it was before he would be completely broke.

And I wonder if that was on Peter’s mind. You also have to figure that the times when Peter denied Jesus are also on his mind, a great betrayal. I find myself– anxiety can overwhelm me when I go back into the past and I revisit moments of great tragedy in my life, especially moments when I messed up. And it’s strange how years later emotionally, I take responsibility for what I’ve done. And I feel the pain. Maybe that’s on Peter’s mind. I’m not sure. Maybe Jesus needs to straighten them out with regard to this.

But I am pretty sure of this, the reason an orchestra has a conductor is the conductor is going to keep the time with the baton. The very first thing to do with the baton is to knock it on the podium to get the orchestra’s attention. And then the baton gives the time to the entire orchestra. And the other hand points to the trumpets and says, “Now it’s your turn.” The other hand points to the woodwind section and says, “A little louder.” The other hand directs the people in the orchestra because the conductor is watching what everyone is doing.

And because the conductor is doing that, you know what you can do? You can pay attention to your part — if you watch the conductor, and if you look at your music and play the music. When I was in junior high, I played the big string bass in the orchestra. You had to pay attention to the music. You know what would happen if you played the big string bass? The music would tell you, “You’re going to do rest for 68 measures.” So we bass players would stand there not doing anything for 68 measures. Do you understand how scary it is to wonder if you’ve lost count? Well, you see, you don’t have to worry because the conductor is paying attention.

And if you watch the conductor and if you play the music, your part will be done perfectly, but you have to focus. And I wonder if it’s possible that Peter is focused on taking the place of the conductor because he assumes that he’s got to keep everybody in line. Oh, friends, Jesus is always the conductor.

Now, by the way, why is this important? Well, I am the pastor. I have been to graduate school. I have had experience in this work for 42 years, full time after graduating from seminary. If you want to, you can refer to me as Dr. Kueker. Is it any wonder that sometimes my ego says to myself, “I need to be ready to conduct the Church”? Because you see, I think every pastor goes through what Peter’s going through. I think every pastor thinks that it’s up to them to save the day when the oboe section goes wrong. And sometimes, pastors lose their focus on what Jesus wants them to do because they’re trying to develop this giant strategy to make sure that everybody else does what they’re supposed to do. I wonder if that’s possible. Whatever it was, Jesus felt he had to intervene, and so we have this appearance, this resurrection appearance.

John 21:3: some of the disciples, at least some of them, maybe not all of them, but some of them are in Galilee. And Simon Peter says to them, “I am going fishing.” Now, please keep in mind they did not fish for fun; these were commercial fishermen. They said to him, “We will go with you.” And they went out, and they got into the boat. But that night, they caught nothing. Now just a moment to remind us of how they fished: they would row the boat out in a giant circle, and they would feed the net out one side of the boat, and they would make this giant circle, and then they’d pull in the net, and what was in the net was everything in that circle. They did this one time, and there was nothing in the net. And they did this another time, and there was nothing in the net. In fact, what it says is that they did this all night, and there was nothing in the net, nothing in the net.

They did this all night, and there was nothing in the net. Verse four, “Just as day was breaking, that silvery light that makes it difficult for you to see the details of somebody’s face. Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach, yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. And Jesus said to them, ‘Children, have you any fish?’ They answered him, ‘No,'”

You can imagine that that was not a cheerful, hopeful no; it wasn’t a very happy no at all, probably. And then perhaps, if you are a commercial fisherman, the very worst possible thing happens: some stranger on the beach knows exactly what you’re doing wrong. So the voice comes across the water, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” Now, if you’re a professional fisherman, I think at this point in time you are just shaking your head: “Who does this person think he is? The other side of the boat?”

But for some reason, they were willing, if nothing else than to show this amateur how wrong he was. They cast the net on the right side of the boat, and now they were not able to haul it in for the quantity of fish. As I mentioned, this had happened before in Luke chapter five. We’ve been talking about the fact that they are going to relive moments that they have already lived with Jesus over and over and over again; it’s a rerun.

And so, verse seven, “The disciple whom Jesus loved, John, said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord.'” They fish without clothes on because, of course, it’s really wet. Peter pulls his robe on, jumps in the water, and swims to shore. The others, dragging the net of fish, make their way to the beach because it’s Jesus; he instantly becomes the priority. And when they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there with fish lying on it already cooking and bread. And Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now, none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them. And so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

What could be the reason why Jesus did this? Perhaps it’s to teach Simon the lesson that if you need funding to do God’s work, maybe you don’t need to fish so much as you need to turn to me for help. Maybe that’s the first lesson.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me” – note the words here – “more than these.” Do you think you’re superior in how much you love me compared to everybody else here? Do you still think that you’re the one who loves me the most? “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” And Peter’s gotten a little humble. He says, “Yes, Lord.” He not only answers the question, but he says this, you are the one who knows, “You know that I love you.” And Jesus says, in effect, now that I have your attention, “Feed my lambs.”

The second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” No longer it’s in comparison to the others, “Do you love me?” And Peter says to him, “Yes, Lord.” You know. “You know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.”

He said to him the third time – some people think this is one for each denial, and that could very well be true; but, it also might simply be that Peter needs to hear it three times in order to get it – “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” I mean, do you really love me? Peter was grieved because Jesus said to him, the third time, do you love me? And Peter said to him, “Lord, you know everything.” I’m no longer arguing with you. I’m no longer trying to prove to you that I’m right and you’re wrong, which is what Peter did on the night when he said, I will never deny you. “Lord, you know everything. And you know that I love you!” And Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”

There are a couple of little verses that come next that basically said, as you get older, you’re not going to do what you want to do. You’re not going to get to choose everything that you do, you’re going to need to follow because other people are going to control your life. You will not be the one in control.

And then Peter, ever the person who’s distracted, looks around him at the other people. You remember, it’s my theory that Peter thinks he’s the leader. It’s my theory that Peter thinks he’s the senior pastor of this group. And Peter sees the other disciple, John, and he says to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” I love the way the King James Version puts it, “What shall this man do?” Lord, tell me what this man will do — And then I’ll get on his back and make sure he does it!

And the response that Jesus has is, “If it’s my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” And then come the words that started it all so many years before, three years before, “Follow me!” Peter, you can stop worrying about making John do what John is supposed to do. What you need to do is follow me,” Jesus says. “You can stop assuming that the church will fail if so-and-so doesn’t do what they’re supposed to do. The failure is going to happen, Peter, if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do. It’s time for you to mind your own business. And what is that, Peter? You follow me.

Ray Stedman is the one who originated this concept. What Peter needs to understand is that he’s part of the orchestra and Jesus is still conducting the orchestra. I’m so thankful for the privilege of being your pastor. But I’ll be honest with you, Jesus Christ is the pastor of this church. And I will never fail if I follow him and his direction. Jesus Christ is the Lord. He doesn’t need me to step up and take charge. He is in charge. Jesus Christ is the conductor. And what I need to do is watch the conductor and stop watching everyone else and worrying if they are going to fail because, of course, nothing could lead more quickly to me losing my focus and me being the one that makes a mistake.

And of course, what applies to me applies to everyone else. If we all will watch the conductor, if we all will watch Jesus Christ and follow his direction – that’s what it means to follow me – we’ll be able to focus on our music and do what we’re supposed to do when we are directed. And all of a sudden, everyone will play together perfectly … if we let the director be the director, if we let the conductor be the conductor. “What shall this man do?” Jesus says, “Peter, that’s between me and him … you already know what you’re supposed to do.

And you see, I think that’s the second lesson. “Yes, Peter, you did deny me, but that’s because you were focused on the wrong things. I need need to refocus you on what’s important. What’s important, Peter, is you need to feed the sheep. You’re the sheep feeder. What’s important, Peter, is you need to focus on the lambs. What’s important, Peter, is you need to tend the sheep, which involves a lot more than just food.”

All too often, when leaders, when Church leaders, when pastors, when corporate leaders, when your boss at work, whoever your boss at work might have been or might be, when they start thinking strategy, they lose focus on the people. In a business, that’s customers. In a public school, that’s students. In a church, well, that’s the sheep. And I think what Jesus is needing to do with Peter, probably needing to do with us, probably needing to do with the leadership of every church everywhere is we need to refocus on the people we’re connected to.

Jesus says, “How wonderful all the plans that you have, but you need to focus on the people.” Oh, it’s great, that SALT potluck, that Cunningham bus trip, that Annual Conference that you’re getting ready to go to, all those important things, but don’t forget to focus on the people. Because every church I know that’s gotten into trouble has lost its focus on the people that Jesus loved enough to go to the cross, to die for them. Lost the focus on the people that Jesus loved enough to rise from the dead so that they could walk in newness of life.

And of course, where focus frequently gets lost is it is dragged over to focus on the budget. Now, Lord knows you can’t pay the bills unless there’s money in the budget. There are things you cannot do. You need to make certain that the resources are there. But on this day, on the beach at the Sea of Galilee, I think Jesus is wanting to point out to Peter, “If you’re doing my work, I will provide you with what you need.”

Now, we all know that financial difficulties come, and we all know it’s a reality that the world changes and the markets change and businesses change and economics change, and sometimes, individual people have terrible economic difficulties. So I’m not saying that everyone is protected from those difficult things.

But I am saying that I think that Jesus wants to say to Peter, “With regard to you being able to do what I want you to do, I will provide.” With regard to what this church needs to do to please God, I think that God wants to say to this church that God will provide for us to be able to do God’s work. And to be honest, God has. Nonetheless, our minds tend to drift to these earthly things, when really, instead, we should watch for the conductor to indicate to us that it’s time for us to play our part. And because of that middle lesson, more than likely, what God will ask of you is to do something with a person that will allow the love of Jesus Christ to flow into their life through you.

Please pray with me. Lord Jesus, Peter has 50 days to think. And I think that with those 50 days, he’s thought himself into a corner. He’s created a problem that’s not really a problem. He’s created a problem that he thinks he needs to solve … but he doesn’t need to solve it. He’s starting to make plans when what he really needs to do is pay attention to you. Because you, in the moment that it’s time for him to act, you as the conductor will give him all the plans that he needs when you ask him to play his part.
Lord, help us not to wander too far into the areas of strategy and planning and visioning and all those things that we love to do when we’re avoiding the actual work of loving people. It’s so much more fun, Lord, for some of us, like me, to make plans than actually do what the plans involve. But help us, Lord, as a church, not to think it all depends on us … but to realize that if we play our part, everything will be done well. Help us, Lord, not to get distracted by the plans we’ve made, by the activities we’ve scheduled. Help us to notice and focus on the people who will be present. And finally, Lord, help us not to worry about budgets and bills but to deeply have faith and believe that you will provide us with everything we need to do your will. And we ask that in faith, that you would help us to learn these lessons well. And we ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources

Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

This entry was posted in Attend "Worship at Home". Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.