‘When they came ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there with fish cooking on it, and bread.’
John Chapter 21 v 9
I wonder how many of our first experiences of Jesus came from paintings or pictures as children in Sunday school or as adults in seeing old master paintings of the Christian story? If this is the case I’m sure you’ll agree with me that whether he was by the Sea of Galilee teaching ,or chasing traders out of the temple, he was always wearing immaculate white robes and looked very clean for someone who would have been walking on dusty tracks and sleeping out on the hillside.
In the reading above that is part of Johns recollection of Jesus encounters with his disciples after his resurrection, Jesus must have made the fire and gutted the fish. His hands would be dirty and smell of fish and his clothes would have smelt of woodsmoke.
Jesus was part of the real world, and he calls us to be the same. Involved. One area where the coronavirus has had a positive effect is that many folk who perhaps were more inclined to stand aside are now standing together. Thousands and thousands of people coming together to help whether it be delivering food, checking on neighbours, taking on the role of porters at the hospitals, befriending the housebound in a phone call the list is endless.
But there is another thought that comes to mind that is equally challenging. If Jesus comes into the world travel stained, smelling of smoke and gutted fish (or their modern equivalents) we may not instantly realise it’s him. We must make sure and take care we never let him pass by unrecognised.
With my love and prayers Revd Ali