I have a traditional spot on the Lake Erie beach where I visit my mother’s house near the sandy, south shore of Long Point, Ontario. I go walking there for worship and early morning meditations. This time, when I was there in August, I was reminded of the wonderful scene by the Sea of Galilee when the resurrected Jesus cooks fish and breaks bread for his apostles. Though he’d passed through suffering, humiliation, and death, the risen Jesus is filled with joy, friendliness, and good cheer.
“And then Jesus spoke, not as he had in Jerusalem, when he greeted them with "Peace be upon you," but in commonplace tones he addressed John Mark: "Well, John, I am glad to see you again and in carefree Galilee, where we can have a good visit. Stay with us, John, and have breakfast.” (The Urantia Book, The UB, 192:1.4)
“John Mark brought seven good-sized fish, which the Master put on the fire, and when they were cooked, the lad served them to the ten. … Jesus bade John Mark sit down while he himself served the fish and the bread to the lad. And as they ate, Jesus visited with them and recounted their many experiences in Galilee and by this very lake.” (192:1.8) By the way, In The UB Jesus does not eat the food as is stated in one resurrection appearance recorded in the Bible.
I deliberately called this scene to my mind over the next few days of my visit to “the Point” and it cheered me mightily while I dealt with some difficult family issues surrounding inheritance, money, and real estate. Perhaps I was led to recall this picture so I would be strengthened.
I was again on the beach on the morning of Jesus’s birthday, singing songs of praise. “We are given tastes of the life and glory of the Master; today on this lake front where even the clouds seem to gather like angels singing songs of love, glorifying the Universal Father and the love of our guardian spirits.” (from my journal)
A theological question comes up when we contemplate this Galilee beach episode, one that is best preserved in the Bible’s Gospel of John, Chapter 21. Why do the apostles not recognize Jesus? The Gospel of Mark says “Jesus appeared in a different form,” (Mark, 16:12). Some Christians have an understanding of what Urantia Book students call the morontia body while others struggle with it, opting for what seems less complicated, Jesus is in his resurrected human body. The UB teaches that after three days following the crucifixion, “Sunday morning, April 9, A.D. 30, the resurrected morontia form and personality of Jesus of Nazareth came forth from the tomb.” (189:1.1)
On Catholic.com (http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/why-dont-the-apostles-recognize-jesus-after-the-resurrection) I found an answer that coordinates well with The UB, “Jesus’ Resurrection was the kind of resurrection that all of the saved will have at the end of time: He received and we will receive our glorified bodies.” (The term “glorified form,” is also used in The UB, 189:4.10).
This same Lake Erie beach where I sang an old Sunday School hymn on Jesus’s birthday, “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus,” is the setting of several poems I have written in previous years. One is called “Worlds beyond the Lake Wind.” It captured an insight I had into the future morontia career.
“The indescribable sweet air of morning
wafts across the lake in a wind
that shakes new leaves
of cottonwood groves
to a rattle and flutter of music,
makes me wonder—so hard to discern
where sweetness really comes from,
difficult to pick out
what makes up
algae, riverbank, prairie grass, pine woods,
or to put it into words—I imagine
that it emanates, seems it must
flow from Him,
to sweep across treetops, waves, sand dunes,
aromatic essence of a distant universe
where harbors are prepared for us,
worlds possessing beauties
beyond those of this sphere.”