Thursday Reflection: My Life Goes On …

“I’m going fishing …” John 21:3

There has just been a resurrection … and Peter decides he’s going fishing. Odd. It seems to me that awe and wonder and mystery might have so overwhelmed him that he would spend his days on his knees and his nights in wonder. But ‘awe’ doesn’t have much staying power; and Peter is joined by Thomas, Nathanael, James and John. Jesus has been raised from the dead, but the disciple ‘heavy-weights’ can’t think of anything better to do than go fishing.

We were on our way to the Funeral Home to gather with the family prior to the service at the church. First, we had to stop and wait for a line of preschoolers to cross the street. Some of them looked right at us and waved with big smiles on their face. They have no idea, I thought …

The funeral procession was about to leave the funeral home and make its way to the church. But first we had to wait for a school bus to go by … and then there was the Street Sweeper. Think of it, I said to my wife. We actually clean our streets in this country! We waited and when there was a break in the action of life, the procession began, the streets wet and freshly swept before us.

The Funeral Mass was over and the procession was about to leave the church and head for the cemetery. First, we had to wait for traffic; and it was garbage collection day in that part of town, so we had to wait for the garbage truck.

Our lives flow on in endless song above earth’s lamentation …

Many in our church at First UMC Burlington are worried over the budget – we are looking at a big deficit. But last week a dozen youth met in retreat for the weekend together for “Peer Ministry Training”. While some are lamenting, others are letting faith sink deeper into their souls.

I hear the sweet, tho’ far-off hymn that hails a new creation …

We will have our Church Conference on Sunday, June 1. That’s Methodist lingo for “Annual Meeting”. But before we meet (and lament?) we will celebrate Children / Youth Sunday. Little ones will lead worship; teenagers will preach the sermon.

Thro’ all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing …

With the hearse lights flashing and car emergency flashers blinking, people got the message. Many stopped out of respect to let the procession wind its way along the city streets. But apart from the mourners and that momentary respect shown by those who could have split the procession, it was clear: Today is business as usual. Life goes on. No amount of lamentation will stall the gears of commerce for long. No amount of crying will long still the complaints about what’s going on in Washington (or Montpelier, or Boston …)

Christ is risen. And Peter’s gone fishing. And that’s the miracle … While the awe and grief of dying might for a moment suspend life, it doesn’t stop life – not for long. And that’s how it’s supposed to be. Because when Peter decided to go fishing he unwittingly positioned himself to step into life’s greatest mystery – that God is in the ordinary. The “divine” is often hidden in the mundane.

The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart, a fountain ever springing;

All things are mine since I am his – How can I keep from singing?


Eva Cassidy sings: How Can I Keep From Singing

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.