Today I was reading up on Pentecost. I had forgotten it’s 50 days after Easter. Jesus ascended to Heaven 40 days after the resurrection, then it was 10 more days before the Holy Spirit came and the church was born, 3,000 converts strong.

Somehow, I picture all this happening closer together. After that first day when Jesus appeared to Mary, then the disciples in the upper room, eight days later he appeared in the upper room again, only this time when Thomas was present. “After this,” Jesus again appears at the Sea of Galilee when seven of the disciples decide to go fishing. “Fished all night and caught no fishes,” until Jesus said, “Drop your nets on the other side.” Of course, they caught so many, the nets overflowed. But that happens at least 9 days after Jesus has risen.

Think back to what you were doing on Easter this year. Now feel the distance from then until now. I’m sure the days have been full as you have resumed a post-Easter rhythm.

But what rhythm did the disciples pick back up? For us, it was a solemn, holiday weekend. For them, the world turned upside down. Emotionally, they were plunged from normal to excruciating to mind-boggling, heart-resuscitating resurrection. And in nine days, they saw Jesus three times. I wonder what that was like for them.

I’m kind of caught by the picture of Peter and six others sitting around trying to figure out what to do with themselves. Finally, Peter says, “I’m going fishing.” The others can’t say, “Me too!” fast enough. Where was Jesus? The guys don’t seem overly bothered by his absence. It’s more like they are just “in-between.” Their world has been shaken. Things aren’t the way they were, and they won’t ever be again. In some cases, they are not who they thought themselves to be. They’ve been told something is coming, but it’s not here yet. Jesus isn’t right there with them, so conversation isn’t happening. They’re at a loose end; so, they do what they know. They go fishing.

I wonder how we experience in-between times like these? Times when life has changed, but God doesn’t seem overly near. We’re waiting on something that hasn’t come and don’t know quite what to do with ourselves.

It seems intriguing to me that the disciples weren’t looking for where to find Jesus. In each appearance, Jesus came to them. Even in the Luke verses that talk about many more God revealing’s in those days (to whom we don’t know), Jesus seeks the person out. And incredibly, the disciples seem ok with this. Ok enough to not be at home waiting and ready for when Jesus would appear next. Ok enough to climb in a boat and head out 100 yards offshore and get caught up in fishing.

What’s happening here?

So often in my “in-between” I feel like I need to go find Jesus. Where did he go? What did I miss? What do I need to put in place or do better, so I don’t miss him again? Surely his presence should be always felt. Surely, as one of his chosen, I will know what he’s up to and be Johnny-on-the-spot with him, for him. Surely, since there are big things coming, we should be getting ourselves ready and be on alert. Surely, I need to let him know that I am ready and available.

Don’t I?

Amazingly, Jesus comes to find his friends. He makes their efforts at fishing successful. He gets a fire going for the fish he already has. The whole thing is just so ordinary and un-dramatic. And that’s the backdrop for the life-changing conversation with Peter.

What is your in-between these days? How do you sense or not sense God’s presence in it? What is your inward response? What would you like to say to God about it?


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