Message for July 11, 2021

Mora/Ogilvie UMC

July 11, 2021



*Call to Worship

Leader: God of compassion, be with us as we seek to love deeply.

People: We meet you in love.

Leader: Jesus, friend of all, lead us into relationships in truth.

People: We meet you in truth.

Leader: Spirit of divine wind, move us to form friendships in hope.

People: We meet you in hope.

All: We seek you; we follow you; we are moved by you! Amen

*Opening Prayer

Jesus, you cast your net of love to all people near and far. Let your divine spirit fill us today as we praise you. Open our

hearts and let the loving breath of the spirit guide us to live, grow, and lead as we build our own nets of connection and

friendship. We do all of this in your holy name. Amen.

*Hymn TFWS #2101        Two Fishermen

Scripture             John 21: 3-4, 10-17
The love of friends carries us through good times and times of trouble. Jesus models for us true friendship even through times of disappointment and hurt.

Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

This is the word of God for the people of God

Thanks be to God


It is hard to find one, just one, good definition for friendship because a good friendship does not really fit into any one definition. A friendship is a relationship that cannot be described with a limited number of words.

Friends are those who make you feel good about yourself, who will laugh at the most embarrassing moment of your life just to make you feel better. They are the ones who will be there for you during the happiest of times and the saddest of times. Friends are those that are there when you need them most.

When the world seems out to get you friends will be there right by your side. The importance of friendship in our life is beyond any description.

The basic foundation of every relationship is friendship. Whether it’s a relationship with your spouse, children, coworker, or your neighbor, the friendship will form the base of the relationship. Without friends, life would be, well I cannot imagine life without my friends.


The love of friends carries us through good times and times of trouble. Jesus models for us true friendship even through times of disappointment and hurt.


Jesus has these friends that have traveled with him for 3 years. During this time one can only assume how close they became, the friendships that grew and love between these friends.

John’s Gospel closes with a scene on the Sea of Galilee that. The disciples have fished all night, but as dawn is approaching, they haven’t caught anything. “Fished all night and caught no fishes” It isn’t completely light and mist is probably rising from the water, making it difficult to recognize the figure onshore who is calling them from the beach.

Though they have not recognized him yet, Jesus addresses his disciples with a very intimate term. “children” It is probably an equivalent of an informal expression, “boys” or “guys.  Earlier in John’s Gospel, Jesus addressed his disciples with as, “my children.”

He says to them to ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some fish. When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

It may sound strange to us that these professional fishermen would listen to the directions of an unknown person on the shore. Of course, rod-and-reel fishermen in our day receive all sorts of suggestions from others on where to cast their hook, on where the fish are biting. But the disciples follow the suggestion. What do they have to lose?

Instantly their nets are filled with a large school of fish that just “happen” to be swimming on the right side of the boat.

Suddenly all hands are working with all their might to pull the heavy net on board. It is so heavy that they’re not able to, so instead, they pull the heavy net to shore to land this amazing catch. Once ashore, they count 153 fish — to them an amazingly large number for a single net of fish.


I do not think John intended it this way, but, in a sense, this is a story about laboring in vain, and then listening to and heeding Jesus’ command, and then seeing results far above our own abilities. It is an illustration of the power of the Spirit. The life of a disciple is to be lived in tandem with Jesus, listening, obeying, and seeing his works accomplished far beyond our abilities.

“As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, ‘It is the Lord,’ he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.” (21:7b)

We might strip to swim ashore, but Peter is stripped for work and is a strong swimmer. He probably isn’t completely naked (which would have been offensive to Jewish sensibilities), but wears only minimal clothing on board so as not to obstruct his work. Peter grabs his outer garment, tucking it up so it won’t prevent him from swimming, jumps in, and swims to the place where he can wade the rest of the way. Peter can’t wait to get ashore to be with his friend Jesus.

 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.  When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals[938] there with fish on it, and some bread. (21:8-9)

Jesus has come prepared with some bread from town as well as a fish. He has a fire going, perhaps from firewood along the beach, and has begun to cook the fish, in anticipation of having breakfast with his disciples. Jesus is their host once again, though he invites them to bring a few of the fish from their amazing catch to supplement the breakfast.

The other disciples have now rowed the boat ashore, dragging the net behind them. Now Peter climbs aboard the boat and lends his strength to pull the heavy net across the shallow rocks onto the shore — without tearing the net in the process.

And what does Jesus do but offers his friends breakfast.

Jesus calls them to have some breakfast, but no one dares  to ask him who he is. Jesus taking the bread and fish and giving it to them is quite reminiscent of the Feeding of the Five Thousand. There he was the host to thousands, but here and at the Last Supper he is host to his beloved team of friends.

We end this piece of scripture with Jesus asking Peter, Do You Love Me? Peter responds, Lord you know I love you and Jesus replies Feed My Sheep

Just as God meets us where we are, we are called to meet people where they are. This is a powerful story of love, friendship and forgiveness. The Gospel of John records Peter denying being a follower or a friend of Jesus the night before his crucifixion. Now on the beach, maybe their first private conversation since that night, Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me” (or “agape” in Greek,) and two times Peter answers Lord, you know I love you deeply as a friend. The third time Jesus asks Peter, and by this time he is hurt and likely embarrassed by his denial, “Peter do you really love me deeply as a friend?” and Peter responds, “Lord you know all things and you know now that I love you deeply as a friend.”

How does the type of love we offer friends change the way we interact with them and how we might respond to their requests, requests like “Feed my sheep.”

We usually have a variety of friends, new friends, old friends, intimate friends, casual friends, family friends, school friends, best friends and list can go on and on. Sometimes we have old friends that reenter our lives. A few months ago my high school best friend died. All my feelings for her came back to me. From high school graduation to just a couple years ago we seldom saw each other or even were in contact but thanks to social media we reconnected and reestablished that old friendship. We were planning a get together this summer and we were so excited. But life got in the way, or I should say death got in the way and the last I saw her was in her coffin. Now that friendship remains in my heart.

We can use the scripture of John 21 to help us focus on our friendships. Consider today your church friendships. Some of you have been in this congregation for many years and some of you are fairly new.

We are going to use this story to deepen our church friendships. How you ask-well starting today I am offering you the opportunity to pray for each other. Each of these sticks has a family or an individual name on it. If we all take a stick today, pray for the name(s) all week and return the stick next week we will pray through our congregation friends in a few weeks.

We are often changed by people offering us deeper levels of love and there is no better means of offering that love than through prayer.

At one time I was in a group of four of us that meet weekly. A major portion of our time together was praying for each other and our families. We met together weekly for 12 years – yes 12 years. Imagine all the prayers we shared in those 12 years.

Over time things changed and we found our time together had come to an end. Those three women remain so near and dear to me. Through prayer we grew more in love with each other, and that love cemented our friendship.

Currently I meet with a new group of three that are also cementing our friendship together through prayer. Just like my old group this new group is seeing me through all walks of life and praying for me as I do for them.

Once you have your prayer stick and have prayed for that person or family for a week, please write a note to them on the stick letting them know that you have prayed for them and maybe even sign and date it. Once all families have been prayed for, I will deliver the sticks to each home.

We can build our friendships through prayer. Are you with me? Amen

*Hymn UMH # 393          Spirit of the Living God                  

Pastoral Prayer and The Lord’s Prayer

Lord, we are gathered here today as one body, because you chose to call us your friends. We come from all walks of life. We have had our share of good days and bad days. In the world’s eye, we aren’t good enough or worthy enough to have this bond; but in your sight, we are exactly who you need. Despite all the drama, we made it here to worship and praise your name. May the love we experience today in worship restore us, revive us, refresh us. God, use our broken selves as tools of hope and love on this day. Lord, we love you. Thank you for loving us and calling us your friends. It is  in your name we pray together…

Stephon Carlisle Void, Easter Liturgical Resources from Africana Writers, edited by Safiya Fosua, 2020.

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen

Hymn UMH # 172                             My Jesus, I Love Thee


It’s no secret that loving often involves giving. In our sermon today we heard about how to love and reach people, and

how to build relationships in our communities. We invite you to give today as our ministry seeks to continue loving and

reaching people and being a blessing to our community and people around the world. Part of our resources goes

toward our global missions that continue to reach new people and offer aid and relief to people near and far.

*Doxology UMH # 95                      Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow

*Prayer of Dedication

Loving God, we seek to honor you in our gifts, our service, our lives, and our love for others. Receive now our tithes and

offerings, and may the life we live also be an offering to you. We pray this prayer in the name of the One who gave the

greatest gift of all, Jesus our Savior. Amen.

*Hymn   UMH # 548                        In Christ There Is No East or West (V1,3,4) 


May the love of God surround you.

May the love of God uplift you.

May the love of God stand with you through the changes ahead.

May the love of God convince you, in every situation, to love.

Go now to love others, even as Christ loves you.

Kwasi I. Kena Discipleship Resources 2008


  • Write a little note on your prayer stick and bring it back next week.


Posted in ,