Forever Homecoming

What do you think of the videos of the soldiers returning from duty to surprise their family?  Me, I can't get enough of them.  I will sit crying, while watching one after another.  There is something indescribably powerful in that first moment of recognition.  The disbelief...  The emotions... The sprint...  The embrace...  We see a great example of this in the Gospel this week:   

At that time, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.  He revealed himself in this way.  Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus,  Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples.  Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”  They said to him, “We also will come with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.  When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.”  So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.”  So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish.  So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”  When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea.  The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish. When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.  Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”  So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.  Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.  Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.”  And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord.  Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish.  This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,  “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”  Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”  Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”  He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”  Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”  Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.”  Jesus said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”  Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a 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.  Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.  And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.” John 21:1-19

Peter was a brash, impulsive, strong man who made his living in the fishing business.  And yet he leaped from the boat like a child jumping into a pool on a sweltering day.  Imagine him coming on to the shore after his 100 yard swim.  Picture his loving embrace with his Lord Jesus.   Now there is a video that would have gone viral!!  In spite of his denials Peter realizes that Jesus still loves him.  The conversation that follows brought everything together for Peter.  Jesus makes him whole so that Peter can now embrace his role in the Body of Christ.

I believe that is what draws me to these videos.  The joy of reunion.  The loving acceptance.  The sense of connectedness.   Check out this video clip and I think you'll get my point.   

The emotions that swell up in us as we watch pale in comparison to what these family members experience. Regardless of what you've done or where you have been Jesus is always there waiting to embrace you when you return to Him.  That is an indescribably powerful homecoming that can last forever!