fresh bread: thank you, Peter

Everyone remembers this account:

… Jesus … asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Human One is?”

… Simon Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Then Jesus replied, “Happy are you, Simon son of Jonah, because no human has shown this to you. Rather my Father who is in heaven has shown you.” (Matthew 16:13-17, CEB)

But few recall that those words are immediately followed by these:

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and legal experts, and that he had to be killed and raised on the third day. Then Peter took hold of Jesus and, scolding him, began to correct him: “God forbid, Lord! This won’t happen to you.” But he turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are a stone that could make me stumble, for you are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts.” (Matthew 16:21-23, CEB)

I am so like Peter, aren’t you? One minute I’m honoring Jesus and the next, I’m defying him. One moment I seem to be synchronized with heaven and then in the twinkling of an eye, I’m the tool of hell.

But as surely as there was hope for Peter, there is hope for me!

Father in heaven, thank you for the encouragement and the admonition you give me through the record of the life of this man, Peter. In him I see myself as in a mirror, and through him I see as clearly as through glass what you want me to be. Strip from my life the things that are not fitting of you and use what you will of me to proclaim Christ to all, for I pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.

ct: God’s reign, creation’s future

… we do not know how or when this world might end. It is not for faith to speculate about the day or the hour (Matt. 24:36) but only to trust the one whose creature Time is. What we do know is that the god revealed in the continuity of the Testaments and supremely in the crucified one is committed to the creation and to its full realization of the divine intention for it (John 10:10). We ourselves are being granted a sufficient glimpse of God’s purposing work and a sufficient freedom from anxiety to participate in that work. Each day, each year, decade, and century, we are given opportunities to exercise critical judgment and active responsibility for the implementation of the will of God “on earth as it is in heaven.” (Douglas John Hall, The Cross in Our Context, pp.229-230)