Fish for breakfast. It’s probably not what most campers would expect. The early morning wake up at 5:15am allowed just enough time to get dressed and hike to the ball field at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp. We start with worship. We sing, we pray, we listen, we eat. First we eat the Holy meal- the bread broken, the wine poured. Then we trek back down to eat fish for breakfast.
Remembering how Jesus cooked up a fish breakfast for his disciples after he was resurrected from the dead- we are reminded that Jesus cared for the every day and ordinary needs of his followers. Jesus nourished them both in his life and after his death. Camp was an experience to nourish the faith life of your confirmation students.
For the next 5 weeks we will be “feasting on the word” of the 6th chapter of John’s gospel. My prayer is that you will find nourishment in our worship and our life together. As we enter into John 6 this weekend it coincides with our last fruit of the Spirit-self-control.
Self-control in the New Testament is only found in a few verses. In Galatians 5:23 with the fruit of the Spirit, in Acts 24:25 and twice in 2 Peter 1:6. Another translation for the Greek word is temperance. A word we don’t use very often. I want to draw your attention to the verses in 2 Peter chapter 1. As we come to an end of the 9 weeks of fruits of the Spirit these are helpful words for the building blocks of allowing God’s Spirit to work in us. Feasting and fasting are both spiritual practices. So stick with me these next 5 weeks as we explore the bread connections along with the building blocks of being open to God’s grace and God’s gifts.
Here is the verse in it’s context in the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
2 Peter 1:5 For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. 8 For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins.
Imagine each of these attributes as building blocks that are given to you as a gift to support your faith: goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, mutual affection and love. How can these building blocks be used to connect you with one another and share the good news of God’s amazing grace and forgiveness with others? Here are those verses translated by Eugene Peterson in The Message (MSG)
2 Peter 1:5-9 So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
This weekend we hear how 5 loaves and 2 fish fed 5000. Jesus does the feeding in John’s gospel. Jesus fed and fueled his followers and all those who pursued him looking for signs. From very little Jesus has a feast for many- with baskets leftover.
Join us this weekend to both feast on the word and join in the meal that nourishes us. We won’t likely be serving fish- but then again you never really know what might happen as the Spirit works and weaves among us. Join us as we hear a testimony about self-control and how generous God is with the gifts of God for us as God’s people. Below is a picture from that sunrise service at Rainbow Trail on the morning of our fish breakfast.