Written and produced by tutor Chris Chapman, this episode gives thanks for quiet, every day actions; all the more incredible for their ordinariness.
We reflect on the story of Simon Peter, who is fishing when he hears Jesus call his name from the shore. Simon Peter swims to the spot where Jesus has lit a fire and joyfully accepts Christ’s request to “come and have breakfast.”
Such a simple offer; but to a man like Simon Peter, it means absolutely everything.
“Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
Despite casting out their nets from the boat again and again, Simon Peter and his fellow disciples had not caught a single fish all night.
Through the dim twilight, they hear a voice calling to them from the shore. After asking if they’d had any luck with fishing, the voice urges them to throw their nets out from the right side of the boat. They comply, and their nets fill to bursting with fish.
It’s in that moment that the men realise who the voice belongs to; Jesus, their beloved teacher, brought back to life.
Awe-struck, Simon Peter dives into the sea and swims to shore – cutting through the deep water, heading straight for the man he had thrice denied after the Last Supper.
When the ordinary becomes awe-inspiring
When Simon Peter reaches the shore, he approaches Christ, who is sitting before a little fire with fish cooking over the flame and bread ready to share.
As the fishing boat lands nearby, Jesus bids Simon Peter to bring their fantastic catch ashore. After doing so, Simon Peter and the other disciples gather before their Lord. Imagine how they might have felt in that moment – joy, confusion, wonder, and (in Simon Peter’s case, perhaps) trepidation.
But then Jesus turns to them and simply says, “Come and have breakfast.”
It is this fantastic blend of awe-inspiring and ordinary that we meditate on in this episode. The poet George Herbert described it as “Heaven in ordinary”; the wonder of an everyday moment.
And in this case, a simple morning meal of bread and fish cooked on a fire on the beach – shared with friends.
How to listen to this audio retreat episode
To listen to this episode of the Easter People audio retreat, follow this link to the YouTube version of the episode or listen directly using the YouTube player below.
There is no right or wrong way to listen to this audio retreat. You can listen to it as many times as you like, by yourself or with others.
If you’d like to read along with this audio retreat, you can download the transcript for this episode. You can also use the subtitles/closed captions on the YouTube video.
Resources for prayer and reflection
To accompany you on your audio journey, you can download helpful written resources, designed to help you along in your reflection and prayer.
To help you find the wonder in the ordinary, this resource contains:
- Verses from John 21.1-19
- A mental visualisation exercise, where you’ll imagine yourself on the boat as you glimpse Jesus on the shore, cooking breakfast
- An excerpt from George Herbert’s poem, ‘Prayer’ and a reflection exercise
- A meditation on how you can occupy yourself to achieve insight or inner peace
- A list of the four narratives covered over the Easter People retreat
Although it’s not necessary for you to use the downloadable resources to enjoy this audio retreat, it can add a greater dimension to your reflection and prayer.
Listen to the complete Easter People audio retreat
With this final episode, the 2023 Easter People audio retreat is now complete; which means it’s now available to listen to in its entirety.
Follow the links here to access previous episodes at any time:
- Episode One: Mary Magdalene at the garden tomb
- Episode Two: On the road to Emmaus
- Episode Three: Jesus enters the locked room
Thank you to everyone who has listened along for the past few weeks!
If you’re new to this retreat, a very warm welcome! We hope you enjoy your listening experience and find a few moments of peace and reflection with us.
If you’ve enjoyed this audio retreat and would like to discover more, you can explore previous series and listen to new episodes now. Wherever you are in life, you’re always welcome to take a prayerful audio retreat journey with St Augustine’s.