N.B. I've just been on a five day camp in some woods in Lincolnshire... and realised how much I love being outside in natural surroundings. Southend is not so much fun. :(
Have you ever been up so early enough to watch the sunrise? It's a beautiful sight, if the sky is clear, watching the world awaken before your very eyes. I don't often get up that early, although more so in the Philippines because I'm not and sticky and my body clock is all out of sync, but whilst on camp I got up early a few times... mainly because I was cold and uncomfortable.
The last morning on camp we slept out in the woods in makeshift bivvy shelters, and lived on army ration packs for 24 hours, which was a fun adventure. :) But the most beautiful part for me was wakening early on Friday morning, around 5am (again, because of the cold). I decided to get up and make a fire to warm me up, so I set off in the breaking light of the dawn to collect some wood and stuff to get the glowing embers from the night before going again.
As I was wandering through the woods, I noticed the sunlight shining through the trees, so fetched my camera and took the pic (above.) I spent a few minutes standing, feeling the warmth of the sun as it pierced the dark landscape around me, scattering across the woodland floor. And as I began to build the fire and watched the flames slowly grow and surround the twigs and branches, my mind cast back to that passage of Jesus in John 21 as he stands on the shore early in the morning talking to his disciples before he makes breakfast for them.
There are no specific details in the text about how Jesus made the breakfast, but building my fire in the musky light of dawn, I was touched by this great sense of entering into the humanness of that action. Hands that surrendered to nails, collecting some wood, carefully constructing a fire, lighting the tinder... there were no such thing as matches those days... which method did Jesus use to light the fire? How long did it take him? Did he have all the frustrations of me and my friends of desperately trying to keep the small flame aglow? I wonder how tenderly those hands prepared the fish, did he singe a finger or two in the heat of the fire? All these questions may seem so insignificant, but entering into such a human act, brings the enormousness of what such a perfect man as Jesus was prepared to undergo in the suffering of the cross, that much closer to home. God bless you. x