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Today I Feel Like Peter

April 4, 2012

Easter is a mere four days away.  Tomorrow night, we remember Jesus’s last supper with his disciples, his time praying, his arrest, and the beginning of his trial.   In two days, our Lord is crucified.  In four days, our new life is promised and we can experience God’s grace in full.  There is a reason this week is called Holy Week.  This week is why I am a Christian.  Without the next four days, Jesus was just a prophet.  This week is a time to remember and to draw near to God.

Then why, as we get closer to Easter, am I falling off of the disciplines of prayer and study?  Why am I filling my time dashing from one errand to the next, one kids’ practice to the next?

Peter is more significant to me today.  Here I am, supposed to stand by Jesus, declare to be his follower, and I turn away.  I deny him, not once, not twice, but at least three times.  Worse, I know I am denying him, I can hear the rooster crowing, yet here I sit, typing on a computer, instead of spending five minutes in prayer.  Quickly I am jotting down my confession before I rush to get the groceries (for Maundy Thursday’s Seder and Easter Sunday dinner) in the fridge, rush out the door to get the boys from school, and then carpool from the elementary school.

“You are not one of his disciples, are you?”  the girl at the door asked Peter.

He replied, “I am not.”

It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm.  Peter was also standing with them, warming himself.

John 18: 17-18

I am Peter.  I say in my heart I am Jesus’s, yet I am doing nothing to show Jesus that I am his.

I walk into the next four days with my head bowed low.  I have sinned in what I have decided to do and what I have failed to do.  Oh Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

But.

There is always a but.

Easter is coming.  My separation from God is not permanent.  I do not need to sacrifice burnt offerings or do penance.  I am forgiven.  Easter is coming and with it, the reminder of God’s incredible grace.  Grace that means nothing can separate me from the love of God and I am not alone–even when I am Peter, even when I deny the Jesus I love three times, in the same way, over and over.  Grace means I have another chance.  This next moment, I can return to God, who waits for me.  Tonight, I can say my evening prayers and ask for God’s forgiveness.  I can go to sleep knowing I have been forgiven, that tomorrow is new.  Grace is available for Peter, who denied Christ three times.  Despite Peter’s denial, three times Jesus asked Peter to feed his sheep.  Peter accepted his call.

Grace is available to me.  I just need to accept it.

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome brought spices so that they might go to annoint Jesus’ body.

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Do not be alarmed,” he said.  “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.  He has risen!  He is not here.  See the place where they laid him.  But go and tell his disciples and Peter. ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee.  There you will see him, just as he told you.

Mark 16:  1,  4-7

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2012 1:45 am

    Peter is such an example of the difference the comforter can make in our lives. Through the frailty of his human spirit, we see it is possible to be who God created us to be. That wouldn’t have happened if Jesus hadn’t died and risen. These stories, oh, how they are hope to my heart!!

    Have a blessed Easter – and a very blessed Seder Supper

    • April 5, 2012 11:25 am

      Thank you bluecottonmemory. May you have a blessed Easter as well.

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