Thursday, October 16, 2008
What About You?
"What about you, then? Who do you say that I am?" Luke 9:20
When our girls were younger and we took car rides (long or short, it didn't really matter), we would play a game simply called questions. My husband Mark was the best questioner, as he always had good questions with simple age appropriate answers. Sometimes it was spelling, sometimes math and sometimes questions about the universe in general or about our lives specifically. The girls were asked questions in rotation and we didn't keep score. These were part of the several girls rules we lived by which included endless do-overs, lots of band aids and boo-boo kisses, having an unending supply of chocolate milk and frequent potty breaks. They loved playing questions and sometimes even now when we are in the car together someone will request a game of questions. Our game was both innocent and silly, the kind of thing that sprouts up naturally when people live together and help each other bide time and circumstances.
The nature of Jesus' question to the disciples and the situation it was asked in were markedly different. They were praying, they were in a reverent, holy moment. And yet, there is also a comfort level and familiarity that is found among those who spend time together and cling to one another for support. There was intimacy and sanctuary among them. And Peter replies, "You are the Christ!" He gets the answer right, although he was known for stumbling over simple things and getting things wrong more often than not. Peter understood who Jesus was completely in that moment of quiet prayer and safety but when faced with the scrutiny of the world he folded on a regular basis. He was in need of endless do-overs and the intimacy and safety of loving circumstances. It is a profound realization then, that it is this same
Peter,the flawed, blurting, stumbling, awkward Peter on whom Jesus founds the Church. He rests the whole history of our worship of God throughout the ages on the back of this character. Thank God. What comfort in knowing, through Peter's example that we are also welcome and needed in the kingdom of God. We who stumble and need do-overs, who get the answers wrong more often than we admit are the ones whom God seeks out.
So, for today, may we forgive ourselves our humnaity, knowing that God in Jesus Christ already has. May we be happy, if but for a brief moment, in the knowledge of God as a loving parent, who asks questions and also has an endless supply of band aids and kisses. If we know how to love, however incompletely it might seem, how more so can God, who is love, completely love us. May we have the courage to blurt out our faith and our need, knowing that God is anxious for us to be right and will honor us in our effort and our human struggle, today and every day.