This week’s Narrative text begins a 4 week dwelling in the end of Jesus’ life in John’s gospel (chapters 18 and 19).
There’s a lot of different places one can focus in this passage. Where are you leaning?
A few weeks ago, we had Jesus as the gate for the sheep in John 10. The words for gate and courtyard are repeated here from that earlier passage (gate and sheepfold). How does the story look different to you if Peter is a sheep in the sheepfold as Jesus takes on the thieves and bandits?
Peter denies Jesus in three different scenes, the final time as the cock crows. After the resurrection, Jesus will give Peter three different chances to positively claim him. Peter is the “all in” disciple–last week he wanted Jesus to wash his head and his feet (ch 13). He races to the empty tomb (ch 20). He dives into the water to swim to the risen Lord (ch 21). He will be the rock on which the church is founded AND he’s the one who denies Jesus.
During Lent, it’s a humbling reminder to us, and maybe an encouraging one too. Denial and fear are part of the human condition, and there is no disciple in scripture, or in the world, who is immune to being human. We acknowledge how we have fallen short. And, like Peter, we keep at it. Peter, the denying sheep, afraid of the thieves and bandits, will be entrusted by Jesus to “Feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep”.
We still have thieves and bandits. We still have stories of denial, where fear overwhelms our better nature. We also still have lambs in need of tending. May we find hope in the midst of this Lenten journey.
Where is the sermon muse directing you this week? Share your thoughts here.
How will you connect this story to a Children’s Sermon? Other ideas to share?
Marci Auld Glass is the pastor of Southminster Presbyterian Church and lives with her husband and sons in Boise, Idaho. She is a graduate of Trinity University and Columbia Theological Seminary. She serves on the Clergy Advocacy Board of Planned Parenthood and the Mission Agency Board of the Presbyterian Church USA. Marci blogs at Glass Overflowing and is among the contributors to the RevGals book,There’s a Woman in the Pulpit (SkyLight Paths).
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