Campfire Communion

bonfire surrounded with green grass field After Jesus’ resurrection, he gathered his disciples around a campfire on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. They likely ate Tilapia Galilea (also known as Saint Peter’s fish), but an ugly specter haunted the disciples. Only days before, their friend had been nailed to a cross of timbers by Roman soldiers.

In the glow of firelight his brow revealed scars from a crown of thorns. His hands and feet bore the marks of crucifixion. The disciples knew of the healed gouge in his side, because they were present when Thomas declared: “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Jesus had appeared and obliged Thomas…

The disciples loved this dear man, and were learning to worship him as God. For nearly three-and-a-half years they followed Jesus from town to town–a troupe of tradesmen smelling of fish and sweat. Beside campfires, from Galilee to Samaria, the disciples’ faith and doubts tangled like untended nets. They only had a vague idea of who Jesus was.

But when Jesus walked out of his tomb alive, their faith and doubts untangled. At his campfire by the sea, he fed his friends something more sustaining than Tilapia. He nourished them with the Bread of Life–a profound communion that burned even brighter after his ascension to heaven.

Did this intimate campfire communion with disciples cease when the last apostle died? No, it has multiplied exponentially. “Campfire” communion with Jesus can happen anywhere now: in the car, on the plane, or while watching children mess up the living room.

The fire is always lit and can be seen from a great distance. Jesus warms his hands and waits for you to come and share your heart with him. Embers glow and fish are frying. Tune-in to his gentle voice as the waves quietly lap on the sand. Allow his presence to comfort the you that only he knows. He speaks in hushed tones, reminding you of blessings, or how you need to pray for someone, or to be patient, or to be decisive.

By communing with Jesus you thrust your hands into his gloves of sovereignty without straining to fit. In him you “live and move and have your being.” (Acts 17:28)

We cannot shut off the frantic world we live in, and it’s a privilege when we can grab serene space alone to pray. But powerful communion happens at the center of your hectic life. Step out of the noise for a few moments several times a day, and in your heart know that Jesus sits by the fireside with words of comfort and guidance.

As you work or travel, no one will have a clue that you sit cross-legged in the sand, warmed by a fire with Christ. No one will see his scars of crucifixion in the flickering firelight but you, and only you will feel the intimacy of the moment as you commune with your best friend–God Almighty.

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. (John 14:23)

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