I loved Pastor Michelle’s message Sunday, didn’t you? After all, the apostle Peter was a person I can identify with. I mean it, seriously. Peter’s heart was usually in the right place. He just had a serious case of “Open Mouth; Insert Foot” syndrome. He was always for the underdog. Always ready to defend those in need. Always ready to support Jesus (as a hardworking disciple helping to feed 5,000). Wanting to build some sort of structure at the transfiguration for Jesus, Elijah and Abraham (although short of having the Holy Spirit tell him I was not sure how he knew who the other two were besides Jesus). Vehemently proclaiming that Jesus was the Son of God three times when Jesus asked him who he thought Jesus was, and Jesus proclaiming; “You are the rock I will build my church on!”. Yes, and swearing his allegiance to Jesus even when Jesus told him he would soon deny him not once or twice but three times! It seemed hard to be the person Peter.
I think I know how he felt. You see I am what is known as a “klutz”, and often also called, a “goof”. I fall down a lot, trip on stairs a lot (ask choir members). My children will often tell me I am “too silly” or “too loud”, “too exuberant”, having no “filter” as to my feelings (I cry at the drop of a hat). I want to help when I should just stand back and wait. And I have a whistle that is WAY too loud. Is it any wonder I understand exactly what Peter felt like?
But I also feel like the Holy Spirit is often spurring me on the way you would give a horse a gentle nudge in the right direction. He gently tells me when to pray for someone with a thought or a certain person gets in my car for my UBER rides. Like the man I picked up that is trying to start a learning center for young adults with special needs. He told me he was about to the point of giving up the idea because he felt he was at an impasse. We began talking about what made him want to do it in the first place. As we reached his destination, we saw a man in a wheelchair miss a curb and fall over onto the driveway. I immediately stopped the car and we both went to help the man right himself. He messaged me later that he had seen the man fall and just needed to help. He thought it was the maybe the Holy Spirit showing him to go where he was needed and was sure God put me in his path. I was humbled by his words.
Christ has this kind of faith in us. No matter how inept we consider ourselves, God has faith in us. God knows how vulnerable we are to our own inadequacies. Especially when we fail repeatedly. He knows the desires of our hearts. All we can do is try and try again. He honors our tries. Like we as parents keep trying to help our children succeed no matter whether it’s riding a bike or venturing out to find their destiny. Learning to write or helping them understand their own children. These “tries” are sometimes painful as Peter’s anguish at letting down our Lord. But He doesn’t give up and walk away. That emotional pain we feel can tear us apart. Just know He’s there for us in ways we can’t even imagine.
Abba Father, I know you love me, even though I contemplate often “WHY”? I want to not focus on the why as much as the “thank you” for just loving me. Thank you for remaining with me in my daily walk. Let Christ be seen in me today! Amen.
Written by Fran Baatz
Peter Denies Jesus
“While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, “You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.” But he denied it, saying, “I do not know or understand what you are talking about.” And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed.And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.” But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know this man you are talking about.” At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.“
Fran is happily married with two daughters, and now four grandchildren and one great-grand daughter! She was an army brat growing up (which means she moved a bit) and her parents (Francis and Orpha Jimenez) were charter members of Sheridan Lutheran Church. She was also the first girl baptized in the church in 1953, so she has been at Sheridan a long time.
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