Bible & Beach 2021 - For All Forever

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


Don’t Go Back to Normal

The week of Bible & Beach is over, but the connections, the transformation, the life-change is just getting started. As the old theologian, Eminem once said, it’s time to “snap back to reality.” How are you feeling? A little intimidated, nervous, anxious, excited, or overwhelmed with the thought of going back home? It can feel overwhelming to know how to explain what you’ve experienced to your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers who haven’t been on the trip with you. As you snap back to reality the challenge will be, not to just go back to normal.

All week, we unpacked the story of Jesus in the book of John as we looked at the Good News about Jesus being For All & Forever. Jesus’ closest friends, His disciples, who walked with Him and saw His life, death, and resurrection, struggled with going back to normal. They have already seen Jesus alive again after being buried in a tomb for three days. You would think that seeing someone come back from the dead would make it nearly impossible to go back to normal.

However, in the first few verses of John 21, it says that the disciples were doing again what was familiar, normal, comfortable, and easy. Jesus wasn’t with them anymore, so they simply went back to what they knew—fishing. They had spent three years with Jesus hearing His teachings about loving and serving the lost and mistreated, being sent out by Him to heal the sick and help the poor, and were commanded to move beyond what’s comfortable. Yet, the moment He’s gone, they can’t help but go back to normal.

Normal for them was going back to what they did and knew before following Jesus. Fishing isn’t bad, but it wasn’t what Jesus ultimately wanted for His disciples. Normal is easy, but normal isn’t always God’s best. Normal isn’t always the right thing. Normal often doesn’t produce the results that you’re hoping for. When you encounter Jesus, He changes all of you, forever. So, as you head home, don’t go back to normal.

Fight for a new normal. It’ll be easier to walk in a new life when you’re not alone. So, stay connected to your small group and leaders. Force your eyes to look for Jesus. Create margin each day to spend time with Jesus. Trust that for every failure, there is grace waiting for you. Live a life that cares for other people. This new normal is the kind of life you are invited to experience each day as you walk with Jesus back home.