I’m glad you are here to celebrate! Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details here. Celebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.

There’s this story that’s clinging to my heart. These men are fishing — all night long they are fishing. It’s been a rough night, the catch is nil. It’s their livelihood, catching fish, and there’s nothing in their nets. 
There’s one man on the boat who is feeling pretty rotten; it’s more than not catching fish. He denied his friend. Three times before the rooster crowed. One moment he is courageous and brave, professing his faith and his assurance in following his friend down any dark path. And now he’s living with the stark realization that at the first test…and the second test…and the third, he denied the relationship.
Dawn is breaking and the men are ready to pull in their nets and try again another night. Then someone from shore calls to them, “Cast your nets on the other side.”
It’s a simple request. I wonder if they debated whether to listen, after all it was a bad fishing night and they were probably more than a little cranky. They listened anyway. They tossed the nets off the right side of the boat.
They were filled with fish. In an instant, the man on the boat, the one feeling low, Peter, recognizes the man on the shore. He is the man denied. In a brash decision, Peter jumps out of the boat, into the water and wades to shore.
I’m sure he doesn’t know what to say, how to act. Here is the man he denied. Peter’s standing before his friend, his Savior — Jesus — embarrassed and mortified by his previous actions. What should he do?
He drags in the nets and the fish are counted. 153 fish. It is recorded in holy text. Someone counted the fish and there were 153 large fish. That’s not the part that is sticking with me, though, at least not this time.
It’s this: And although there were so many, the net was not torn.
When we stop to count the celebrations, we find a net that can hold them all. The fisherman listened to Jesus and they were blessed — 153 large and useful blessings — and the net was not torn. 

We are not meant to be worn, to be falling apart, to be holding on by threads. Rather, celebration is a net that can hold life together. It will not be torn. It holds strong and wraps around our fragile hearts. 

There is redemption and hope and unconditional love in the rest of the story — but it all begins by counting the blessings and holding them in a net of celebration.

Loving that you’re sharing your celebrations here. Link-up below and invite a friend to join us!


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  1. Ruth,
    God is my witness. I didn't read your post before I linked for this week. After reading it, my post is full of blessings and celebration just like you wrote of…I feel connected.
    Thank you,

  2. Ruth, your story is one for humanity because in our weaknesses we grow.We reflect, celebrate the happiness that binds us together as a family of friends and colleagues. Thank you for your guidance on this path. My post was started for last week then put on hold for a marathon weekend of revision on the NCTE 15 proposal. Today's post will be delayed because of prep work for next week's PD sessions. I am with you in spirit for the time being.

  3. I am not a person of faith, Ruth, but I believe wholeheartedly in the necessity of a net of celebration – the human spirit cannot endure without nourishing what's best in us , in the life we live , and in the life around us. Thank you for giving us this space in which to do that – we need it!

  4. Ruth, this is another example of how Jesus wants us to live fully and joyfully. I appreciate your perspective on this story. I had never considered it this way before. Thanks.

  5. Ruth, I love these words: “celebration is a net that can hold life together.” I celebrate this weekly time that we come together to count our blessings. Thank you for a new view of these words, “the net was not torn.”