“Plunge In” by The Rev. Kaji Douša

May 12th,2022 Categories: Weekly Letter

Dear Ones:

I have to say: the Holy Spirit DID SOMETHING in church on Sunday! I don’t know about you, but I felt the presence of God in a way I hadn’t in quite some time. I’d encourage you to set aside some time to experience the whole service, if you haven’t already. We tried a new prayer practice to focus our intentions as we encountered the Word and…God did something!

For our next 2 worship experiences, we will examine a couple of aspects of Jesus’ third appearance to the disciples after his resurrection, in John 21.

The first week, we’ll look at the end of the story, and the second week, we’ll look at the beginning. I’ve decided to do this because I think so much about what Jesus is doing in the latter part of the story informs what he was doing in the former.

As you prepare, I’d encourage you to note (I mean, write down!) the aspects of the story that are curious or surprising. Here’s an example: what’s going on with Peter’s clothes? Don’t worry about answering the question (though I’m curious what you might come up with) but do note if it seems a little…curious. There might be other parts to this text that make you say: hmm. Linger there for a moment and see what God might have to say about it.

This week’s text is John 21: 15-19*. I’m going to spend some time working through concerns of guilt and shame in this text. So you might want to think about what role guilt and shame play in your life. We’ll try to make some connections and plunge into the healing Jesus offers here.

Next week, we’ll circle back to the earlier part of the story in John 21: 1-14.

Come with your questions and get ready to dive in to these incredible texts!

Pastor Kaji

*Scripture: John 21:15-19 (ILB):

15 When they had eaten their meal, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon ben-John, do you love me more than these?”
Peter said, “Yes, Rabbi, you know that I’m your friend.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 A second time Jesus put the question, “Simon ben-John, do you love me?”
Peter said, “Yes, Rabbi, you know that I’m your friend.”
Jesus replied, “Tend my sheep.”
17 A third time Jesus asked him, “Simon ben-John, do you love me as a friend would?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked, “Do you love me?” a third time. So he said, “You know everything, Rabbi. You know that I am your friend.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
18 The truth of the matter is,
when you were young,
you put on your own belt
and walked where you liked;
but when you get old,
you will stretch out your hands
and someone else will put a belt around you
and take you where you don’t want to go.”
19 With these words, Jesus indicated the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.
Then the savior said, “Follow me.”