Beach Party: an Allegory

An array of golden, silver, red and purple balloons hang from the rafters.  Festive banners reading “Welcome H0me, Son,” festoon the walls.  Delicate pastries and towers of exotic fruits grace the linen-clad table.  The top chef  has prepared a meal fit for the returning hero.  The 10-piece band fill the banquet hall with the hero’s favorite tunes.  The sound of silver clinking against china along with the laughter of friends and family add to the festivities.  The entire community is here to welcome the local boy home from the war in Afghanistan.  Injured by a roadside bomb while saving the lives of his buddies, he’s come home a hero.

His proud papa stands and taps the side of his crystal goblet with a silver fork.  “Attention!  Attention everyone. I can’t tell you how proud I am of my son.  I am so glad you all could make it for our celebration today.”  With that he raises his glass to his child.  “Welcome home, son.  And now, it’s time to party!”

A deafening cheer goes up from the crowd and continues until the boy lifts his hands asking for silence.  Tears flow as the young man express his gratitude for the celebration, and then surprises everyone when he adds, “I left many fellow soldiers in Afghanistan.  I’m sorry but I must leave this party, Dad, to go back for one last mission to help my friends.  Please continue to celebrate–eat, drink, party until I return.”

An incredible story.  Unbelievable, in fact.  No conquering hero, wounded while saving the lives of others, would willingly return to the battle field in the midst of his welcome home party.  But that’s what Jesus did.  He left the heavenly celebration for His victory over death to return to the tranquil shores of Galilee early one morning where He caught, killed, scaled and grilled enough fish to feed eleven hungry men–His friends.   What a humble move for the King of the Universe to make, a Victor who had every right to bask in the glory of the Universe.  But instead, He left His own celebration party to make breakfast for His friends.  A simple beach party became an act of love.  I wonder if their minds returned to the upper room where Jesus served them bread and wine before He died for their sins.

(See John 21:15-17 NIV)  After they’d eaten their fill, Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me more than these?”  What did Christ mean by ‘these’.  Was He asking, “Do you love me more than you love these, your friends?”  Of was the Savior referring to Peter’s fishing boat and gear?  Or did Jesus mean, “Do you love me more than these other disciples love me?”

The Master’s message to Peter was, “Feed My sheep”  and “Feed My Lambs”–the entire gospel commission simplified.  That directive of love, both literally and figuratively interpreted, hasn’t changed in 2000 years.  I know He loves me, but if I love my Savior, I will “Feed His sheep.”  If I fail to do so, I am nothing more than a ‘resounding gong or clanging cymbal’. (1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV)






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