While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, "Have you anything to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.
- Luke 24:41-43
This morning we think about the flip side of familiarity - familiarity and comfort. In so many of these resurrection appearances Jesus eats with his disciples. On the road to Emmaus he breaks bread with them when they arrive; on the beach Jesus eats a meal with the disciples. Here in Luke the disciples are still afraid and Jesus uses food as a way to comfort them. He eats fish with them, something we are sure they would have done together, as fisherman and fishers-of-men, many times.
If the church has done one thing right over the years, we can at least say we haven't failed at the food = comfort part. "Sharing food is so simple, and yet so important."
After funerals, there is food; after weddings there is always cake; when we celebrate a milestone in the church, there is food; when we celebrate a new beginning with a baby, we bring food to their home. When we know that not all of our neighbors are able to do the same, we provide food; when strangers are caught in systems that prevent them from the fullness of life, we provide food. Whether its food pantry, or a soup kitchen, a potluck at church, bringing food to someone in their home, or communion on Sunday, "in breaking bread together, we find reassurance, security, comfort."
Familiarity and comfort are found in the risen Christ. Jesus is still the "same ol' " Jesus, "the guy they loved, their friend and master. He was still the man who had walked with them by the sea and ate fish, cooked over a fire, day in and day out." Jesus may not be able to physically offer us a piece of fish, but Jesus draws us into that familiarity. As we wrestle with the risen Christ, and what the means, the fear, the questions, the doubts, Jesus draws us "into the miracle and reality of his resurrection."
Won't you come break bread with us this Sunday morning, and join us in feeling the reality and miracle of the resurrected Christ?