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John 21:7. When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea.
I love Simon Peter’s exuberance. He’s so excited to see Jesus that he jumps in and swims to the shore, unwilling to wait a moment more. In an earlier reading this month, John tells how Jesus is preparing to wash the feet of his disciples. Once Simon Peter understands the importance of the foot washing, he jumps in, again wholeheartedly. Then, he tells Jesus, not only wash my feet but also my hands and head.
Young children display this same excitement. When my nephew sees his cousins, it’s as if the joy is a bouncing ball inside of him. He hops up and down, his voice rising, his arms waving. He can hardly contain himself. He doesn’t know yet about how we’re supposed to act in public— about the proper response.
What if we occasionally disregarded some of society’s expectations and responded in pure joy? Sometimes I want to raise my hands in praise when I’m singing. Every once in a while I feel an “Amen” waiting to burst forth. But I almost always squelch the impulse. Today though, I’ll pray to be a bit more like Simon Peter—and my nephew— and jump in with joy.