One of the most beautiful sites in the Holy Land is Mensa Christi (The Table of Christ) on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It is serene, picturesque, and deeply moving. It is the place where the Risen Christ shared the First Breakfast with seven of his disciples. The story is recorded in John 21, the reading for the 3rd Sunday after Easter.
Many of the pilgrims who have gone to the Holy Land with Fran and me will remember this place…and its impact. We usually go there on the third day…and most of the travelers are silenced by this moment. We celebrate Eucharist there sometimes. I baptized a young man there a few years back. Sometimes we approach the sacred site on a boat and see it from the vantage point of the exhausted, fish-less disciples.
I always read the account of the restoration of Peter by the fire. (In fact, I first saw the church in 1994. I was told then it was called “Church of the Charcoals” after the fire that Jesus built early that morning. I have not ever heard that name again…but I call it that; I always will.)
The sermons that are preached on this passage will talk about failure and restoration; about love and abundance; about the remarkable goodness of the Risen Christ. I plan to preach one of those sermons too. But there is nothing like being there…at the place, the actual REAL place where Jesus appeared to his disciples the third time, according to John.
This is why Fran and I go every year…and take dozens of people with us. It is just that amazing.
Enjoy the pictures. If you have been there, count your blessings. If you have not, I pray one day you will.