|York Minster - reflected in a puddle!|
While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.
One of my favourite all-time jokes is one told by a colleague - about a persistent rabbit who continually asks: "Got any carrots?" It's lengthy and corny - that's what makes it so funny!
Jesus asked his disciples after the resurrection: "Have you anything here to eat?"
When Jesus rose from the tomb, he did not immediately return to the father. He spent 40 days, restoring the disciples' confidence in themselves and in the mission to which they were called. All of Jesus' resurrection appearances were aimed at teaching the disciples, revealing the scriptures and opening their eyes to what was "hidden in plain sight".
Jesus met them in community and he met them individually, always anticipating and tailoring his message to their particular needs, be that forgiveness, reassurance, explanation, affirmation or recommissioning. Those meetings, more often than not, involved food. And they always involved transformation.
From fear to love.
From doubt to wondering.
From remorse to joy.
That painstaking work of restoration, of discerning need, of affirming gifts, of patiently exploring and explaining ancient texts, of putting skin on the bones of the resurrection is the same work in which we are called to be faithful today.
In our communities, where there is doubt, where there is scepticism, where there is remorse, betrayal, loss of confidence or purpose, our task is to be present, sometimes bringing understanding or reconciliation, sometimes restoring confidence or joy, sometimes bringing food and warmth and love - but, above all, being present in the ordinary things of life that become holy when shared with others around a table. The work of renewal demands persistence in making connection with individuals and with communities that brings transformation as the risen Christ appears in our midst, asking:"Have you anything here to eat?" before commissioning us as disciples in the work of the kingdom today.