I am so glad my name is Peter. No joke. It’s a comfort to me to know that God found such an amazing use for a blockhead who never seemed to get anything right, and I share his name.
In John’s Gospel, right near the end, we learn that Peter is so disgusted with himself that he decides to return to a life of fishing, because he’s no longer good enough to serve Jesus.
That’s where Jesus restores Peter. And his eventual penance for those acts of denial, which should be harsh by human thinking perhaps, is simple… to follow Jesus (again) and to take care of those Jesus has put in Peter’s care.
When we fail, when we deny Jesus through the choices we make, it is important to reflect on this passage, and perhaps weep over our own sinfulness. But do not forget that Jesus asks us not to dwell on our failings and give up, but to follow Jesus and do whatever work God has put in front of us.
Lord, we know we fail, and we know we will fail. We fail ourselves, we fail our loved ones, and we fail you. Restore us, Lord, each time, and remind us how very much we are loved and cherished, and how much you love having us as part of your work in this world.
Peter Hamm is a husband, father, and bi-vocational pastor and worship leader who is delighted and honored to serve Grace United Methodist Church in Norwood, Ohio.
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