This week's episode of Fooling with Scripture is brought to you through a partnership with Crossroads United Methodist Church as part of their Faith Beyond Belief: Reclaiming the Art of Christian Practice series.
Each week for the next few weeks we'll be fooling with a text from John's gospel. This week we're looking at John 21:15-19, in which Jesus has a conversation with Peter about restoration, love, service, and change.
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I've already mentioned Dr. Sharon Ringe's wonderful book on John's gospel numerous times; this week I'm also going to mention Gail O'Day's in-depth commentary on John in Volume IX of the New Interpreter's Bible commentary series (Abingdon Press, 1995).
Also referenced this week is the work of William Bridges, best known for his book Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes, the 25th anniversary edition of which is available from De Capo Press. Bridges identifies three phases of transition, which he labels “Endings,” “Neutral Zone,” and “New Beginning.” He offers the important insight that transition begins with ending, and that there is a tendency to “fail to discover our need for an ending until we have made most of our necessary external changes” (pg. 11). By ignoring endings and “the important empty or fallow time” that follows them, we undermine the possibility of a new beginning and a new phase of growth in our lives (pg. 17).
If you're interested in a very concise commentary on this passage, or on any of the other John passages we've been looking at over the past few weeks, you can check out the series of short mind-podcasts I've done for Crossroads UMC as part of their series. These are 5-6 minutes of quick context and content about each week's passage, and I have them organized on my SoundCloud site in a handy playlist: