Are you wondering what this crazy 46-year-old-completely-grey-haired-mama-of-four must be thinking? 153. Hummmmm…. Apparently, it must be some random number, right? One Hundred and Fifty-three…let’s see; could it be on a check? 153!
But 153 is not a bill payment or any amount of money on a check, no. Although 153 could be the number of freckles contained in one square inch on any given location of this ole body of mine, it’s not that! 153 is probably pretty close to the number of Hott nieces and nephews we have, (seriously!) 153….. well, it revealed something pretty special to me this week at, yes, you guessed it,Vacation Bible School!
Now, I’ll have to admit. I’ve lost count of the number of years I have had the honor to be the “drama mama” in the Bible Adventure Room. I probably can’t count the number of children lined up at the door day after day to hear another one of God’s messages in the Bible Room. This brain won’t remember the trips to the potty when my nerves take over as I suddenly realize “Yikes! Am I ready?! What are my lines?” After countless hugs, squeezes, and blessings I’ve witnessed, I will never forget what happened on the final day of “Sky VBS” this year when our Bible point was “No matter where you are, trust God!”
(Okay, I’m back. Just had to leave my laptop to add the hand motions…)
153! You see, today we ended the messages in the “Wild Blue Bible Adventure Room” with Jesus and some friends gathered on the Sea of Galilee. Our children spent the week with me landing in some pretty awesome locations on our wild blue adventure Bible Plane; from Roman soldiers, Lazarus, the Gardens of Gethsemane, Golgotha, to Galilee…we covered some miracles miles to even moments of sadness.
So, why is it that when we finally landed on the beach and saw Jesus following his resurrection, why would the number 153 mean anything? This number. 153, has seriously been keeping me up at night pondering its’ significance in our Bible.
Now, we sure did have fun out on the boats attempting to fish. You should have seen the looks on the kid’s faces when “that guy” appeared on the shore. Then, when he called out to fish on the right side of our boats, the kids eagerly played along and cast out their nets. Suddenly, the fish were everywhere when giggles and glees exploded from the boats as the children scrambled to “catch” a brightly colored stuffed fish.
Next, scrambling to shore to reunite with our dear friend Jesus waiting for us, it was quite a site to see as each time nearly 100+ VBS kids gathered around his fire and frying pan.
After seeing this guy heal the Roman guard’s friend, make Lazarus walk, to die on a cross, just what was Jesus going to do next?
Well, he invited us all to breakfast! You know what? I don’t know about you; but after I’ve had a busy day filled with running kids all over creation, doing laundry, cleaning house, the last thing I feel like doing is cooking dinner. Isn’t it just easier to call out for a pizza? Jesus had just been through SO much more than that! Oh, he was just arrested, beaten, and crucified on a cross, and now he was planning to fry up some fish for a group of his friends? Wow.
The fish. These fish that suddenly “appeared” after they had been out all night fishing! And the only instruction was to cast our nets on the right side of the boat. Don’t you think that they probably had already fished on the r.i.g.h.t side of the boat? Really now, they were out all night long, fishing… fishing… fishing… What difference would the right side make? I’m sure Jesus had a little grin when he called out:
“Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” – John 21:6
And they did. And oh what they found! The Bible then goes on to tell us that Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net to ashore.
“It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.” – John 21:11-13
153. There, you see? I can’t help but wonder why there would be 153 fish. Violet, my 12 year old daughter and drama assistant at VBS, and I were considering this on our way to VBS this morning. 153! Wow… for the six disciples out fishing and Jesus, that’s a great deal of fish. Each man would have nearly 11 fish each for breakfast, and with bread too!
It was Coby, the intern at our church, who said this in the hallway as we were setting up the day’s Bible story. A college student, Coby told me of a professor discussing a book about this miracle of the 153 fish. He said that it portrayed a Jesus eager to be reunited with his friends again and, for one last time. In His excitement, I imagine that a grinning Jesus was having some fun with them and can see the humor in that he provided 153 fish for breakfast.
So, when it really comes down to it: it really doesn’t matter. Nope! Not.at.all. The fact is that each and every one of our VBS kids knew in their hearts exactly who that was on the shore. Some even before I told them the story. Seeing them all get fired up to share Jesus’ breakfast of fish and bread brought the Bible to life for that moment and this “drama mama” was the one receiving a blessing.
No one left that beach breakfast hungry! Not the disciples, Jesus, or our VBS kids. Jesus has a way of filling up our hearts too, doesn’t he?
I think that’s kinda cool, don’t you?
Copyright © Angie Hott, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved