Hope you all are doing well, reflecting on Lent season and looking forward for the resurrection day/ Easter Day. Just wanted to share with you some thoughts I got from one of the prayer resources I used for years as my daily devotion and reflection time with God. This is from Lectio 365. It is based on Matthew 26:69-72.
Peter’s Denial of Jesus
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said, ‘You also were with Jesus the Galilean.’ But he denied it before all of them, saying, ‘I do not know what you are talking about.’ When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, ‘This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.’ Again, he denied it with an oath, ‘I do not know the man.’
Throughout the Gospels, Peter has been this passionate, all-or-nothing man of action, always up for it; often willing to take risks. He was the only disciple who got out of the boat in a storm to walk on water with Jesus. But now fear and pressure descend on Peter, and he seems to forget who he really is. He does what he promised with Jesus he would never do in his life. Peter must have been feeling not just frightened, but shocked and confused. This is not what Peter expected to happen to the Messiah. He expected Jesus to take a physical throne and overthrow Israel’s oppressors. Now here everything Peter believed, was being shaken.
Yes, Peter denied Jesus, but according to Matthew 26:73-75. Peter went outside and wept bitterly. Peter’s tears are a beautiful reflection of his deep love for Jesus, even in his weakness and fear. It is a devastating movement of coming face to face with himself. Yet Peter must have allowed this experience to shape and transformed him deeply, because in the future it is his courage and boldness that cause people to recognise him as a man who had been with Jesus.
So, that was Peter he is one out of many favourite disciples, now the thought was for me or for all of us that are we feeling under pressure or fearful in any area of our life? In that fear is that leading us to speak or act differently from who God made us to be? We think now of those who we know well around our community or who live in places around the world where they are living in fear, oppressed, and persecuted for their faith in Jesus. Let’s pray for ourselves and for others that may, Lord gives us power of His Holy Spirit that we may overcome from any fear we have in our lives. And always remember to come to the Lord with our guilt like Peter, as his tears transformed his life. Our gracious God is always ready to accept us as we are. So, let's come to the Lord as we are. Amen.
Lots of love and blessings.
Rev Kathreen Shahbaz