As your plot thickens, heed this Chapel message

March 29, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

Pastor Tim Griffin speaks at Chapel Monday morning.

Pastor Tim Griffin speaks at Chapel Monday morning. (Photo by Cameron Stow)

By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau

Chapel went to the movies Monday morning. The critics gave it a double thumbs-up.

Actually, it was Tim Griffin explaining why he’s one of “those people” at the movies, the ones you don’t want to sit near if you want it quiet. The pastor and dean of students of Grand Canyon University said he can’t help himself – he feels compelled to talk out loud during the movie about who did it or what’s going to happen next.

“I want to know what’s going to happen, and I’m guessing and predicting the whole way,” he told listeners in the final Chapel talk of the 2015-16 academic year.

That’s the way Peter was, Griffin said, as he discussed John 21:7-17, the passage after Jesus’ resurrection that Griffin called “like an add-on” to the Bible. “It seems almost out of place,” he said.

Peter is the kind of guy who would have talked during movies, Griffin speculated. He couldn’t understand what had happened to Jesus after He was put to death and then had disappeared from the tomb, and Peter wanted to know what was going to happen next.

That’s why, in the 21st and final chapter of John, Peter had gone fishing. He simply wanted to get away, to go back to something he knew and loved as he tried to sort out his confusion about the script he had witnessed first-hand. And there was Jesus, miraculously appearing on the shore and telling him to cast the nets on the other side of the boat.

After Peter recognized the Lord and swam to shore, Christ had a simple message, repeated in three different ways: “Feed my lambs.” “Take care of my sheep.” “Feed my sheep.”

“I think this story tells some things about how Jesus wants to relate to us after a unique and busy season in life,” Griffin said.

First, Griffin said, He will interject Himself into our lives. Second, He wants us to be included when we enjoy His provisions. Finally, He cares about us loving each other.

So Griffin had two simple recommendations for students as they finish the semester, but both are things that apply to everyone.

The first: Invite the Lord into their summer plans.

“I’m assured of this one thing from Scripture: Whether we invite Him in or not, He has a way of showing up,” Griffin said. “He has a way of reflecting Himself to us in places and times that we were least prepared for, where we sit there or we stand and we go, ‘This could only happen because Jesus was involved.’”

The second: Express their love for people they have befriended – in person, not through social media – before they head home.

“Look them right in the eyeballs and say thank you,” Griffin said.

John wraps up his Gospel with, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

It is a thoughtful ending, just like a good movie. Now it’s up to us to decide how our own personal flick will turn out.

● For a replay of Griffin’s talk, click here.

● Next Monday: The final Chapel of the 2015-16 academic year will feature a special worship music performance.

Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or


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