This isn’t the last time the disciples will be scared. This isn’t the last time they will question if they can make it. But each time, Christ reminds them they aren’t alone. Each time, Jesus tells them God will be there, whether it be the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit. And each time they will be strengthened and encouraged to go to a new place and tell the world about grace and new life.
This passage first reminds us that God is not limited to any sole place. We can’t keep the Creator of heaven and earth locked up inside these walls, because heaven and all of creation is God’s dwelling place. We can’t limit God to an hour a week on Sunday because wherever we go, just like the tabernacle in the wilderness, God will travel with us.
The church is meant to be a place of great welcome, where we can be our ridiculous selves and grow in God’s love. But too often we have been a place that has kept people out – people of different skin colors, people of different class and backgrounds, people with different sexual orientations, people with different gender identities. And in doing so, we have born false witness. We have turned the true God of dance and joy and song into a God of prejudice, fear, and hurt.
So often, we think that healing looks one particular way. But in the gospels, Jesus doesn’t make people fit themselves to a certain type before healing them. Instead, he fits the healing to the person.
Samuel remembers that the Lord is alive and at work and can do amazing things, even in those we judge by their cover. And then he says to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you.”
These words in Isaiah 6 say God is at work even in imperfect people, even in people who doubt themselves, in people who would never see themselves as worthy of a great calling on their own. These words from Isaiah say God’s power and glory and love are strong enough to live and move and breathe and do great and marvelous things through every one of us, even you and me.
There is a treasure right here, right now. It is know God’s love and salvation not just some point in the future, but here and now. While I believe God’s salvation is for everyone, I also know that my relationship with Christ is a blessing for me right now.
Instead, God’s plan in Revelation is God healing this world and making it new. It is God choosing to save and redeem and transform all of creation. And God does it not by separating us out. Not by putting us in our own isolated chambers. Not by keeping us apart. But by inviting us to live all together in one big city. In one huge city, that we all share as one.
Jesus stands on this beach now as the resurrected one, as one who has defeated death, as savior of everlasting life, conqueror over sin, Lord of heaven and earth. And with all that he has already won and accomplished and given for us, Jesus comes to this beach with a surprising, yet simple message. Jesus says, “Come and have breakfast.” Come and join me for a meal on this beach. Come and be around me. Together again.
And it’s the same for so many in our world. So many of us are simply looking for a place to be welcomed, a place to belong, a place where they are wrapped in love and care and invited to come in and stay awhile. Welcome and hospitality are huge themes throughout the Bible because it’s what we so long for, and what’s God gives us so freely. It’s also what we are called to give freely to others.