“Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’” — John 21:12
There is something unique about sitting down with someone at a table to share a coffee and snack, or sharing a meal with someone. It creates a moment of intimacy with that person or those people. You stop, you put life on pause and you connect specifically with that person or people.
In sports, “team meals” are frequent. There are pre-game meals, post-game meals and there are also team meals just for the purpose of spending time together as a team. Team meal tables are typically full of numerous conversations, discussions and sometimes even practical jokes — all of which deepen and strengthen relationships between two or more people as they talk and get to know more about each other.
In the hockey world, “shoe checks” are a frequent prank that occur around the team meal table. A shoe check involves one player sneaking under the table with a gob of butter on a knife. That player then wipes the butter on the toe of an unsuspecting teammate’s shoe. The goal is to pull this off undetected, and once the prankster is back in their chair, someone starts a glass tapping symphony amongst the team. Everyone then checks their shoes for the unsuspected gift of butter on their shoe. The victim then holds their shoe up in the air and a round of applause ensues.
Jesus had appeared to people a number of times after He had risen from the dead; these instances are recorded in the four gospels. In John 21, we read about his final appearance to a number of the disciples, before returning to the Father. Jesus called them to come share a meal: “Come have breakfast.”
Why? He could have met them in the market, or in a synagogue, or any number of places or situations. I suggest that He desired to have one more intimate time with his friends, the disciples, and a meal lends itself to do just that. What motivates us to grow intimacy with others? Love! There are different kinds of love and intimacy, but as one increases so does the other.
We all desire to have close friends, people we can have a level of intimacy with. It’s part of us being healthy. So how do we develop and grow intimacy? First, you spend time with someone; unstructured and spontaneous is very ideal. Next, when you are transparent with each other and share emotions, thoughts, hopes and feelings, then intimacy deepens. Thirdly, mutual submission places people on equal ground. It makes all involved feel valued, and having your opinion count to someone else is very important.
Later on in John 21, Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him, and then tells Peter to go love people “just as I have loved you.” If you love God, then go love the people He has placed in your life.
– Brian D Miller, Head Trainer – Peterborough Petes Hockey Club
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