Monday, July 1, 2013


Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest's house, and Peter was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Luke 22:54-62

I encounter people on a regular basis who seem to function well in a state of denial. They off-load their past if it doesn't suit their self-image, and they inflate their importance, finding little time for reality. Many folks don't want to be associated with less than classy places or people, so they make things up to hide their humble and awkward pasts. The truth always finds a way to shine through though, and under stress or the spot light the truth will always emerge.

Peter is terrified and trying to find out was is going on. Jesus has been arrested and he fears for himself. When questioned, he denies his relationship to Jesus, and repeated feigns ignorance and acts horrified at the accusations. He denies the one he had promised to be faithful to always. He turned his best friend and mentor into a stranger for self-preservation. The good news of our gospel today is that God doesn't leave Peter in his anguish and failure. He becomes, through God's healing and forgiveness, a leader for us all. He moves from a frightened onlooker to one at the heartbeat of God's presence here on earth. We are invited to be honest about our failings and our needs so that God can brings us ever closer to the heart of God.

Today I ask God to help me never be ashamed of who I am or where I have come from. May we all embrace our failures and our past, knowing that God has more for us than we can imagine. May our bitter tears and our anguish be turned to joy and strength by the forgiveness and love of God this day.

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