From the Rev. Constance Moser
Matthew 26:69-75 New International Version (NIV)
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After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”
Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Last week I was thinking…
- Wasn’t it just 3 months ago that I sat in my daughter’s living room surrounded by festive decorations, the aroma of a turkey roasting in the oven and the sounds of my family’s voices as we joyfully celebrated Christmas?
- Wasn’t it just 2 months ago that I sat shoulder to shoulder with folks from near and far as we shared a roast beef feast in Fellowship Hall?
- Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that a circle of women listened, prayed, stood, kneeled and shared the ritual of placing a cross of ashes on one another with an intimacy and honesty that reflected our shared vulnerability?
- Wasn’t it just a few days ago that I wasn’t fearful simply going to the store for a loaf of bread? And I wondered, when did it begin? When did life as it was, begin to unravel and become life as it has never been? When did things begin to go so terribly wrong?
Perhaps the disciple, Peter had similar thoughts as he considered the events of the past 3 years…
- Wasn’t it just a couple of years ago that I was out fishing with my brother and Jesus invited us to follow him…and we did?
- Wasn’t it just last year that we were out in the boat and he called to me and I actually walked on water?
- Wasn’t it just last week that we arrived in Jerusalem…hot, dirty and tired, but it didn’t matter! The throngs that gathered in the streets to welcome Jesus as the King of Kings, the joy, the support, the enthusiasm…I knew that it was time for God’s Kingdom come “on earth as it is in heaven.”
- Wasn’t it just yesterday that I said that even if I had to die for him, I would never turn my back on Jesus? And yet here I am…when did things begin to go so terribly wrong?
For three years the disciples had adapted to a new normal…following Jesus, reshaping their lives in the light of the man who reflected God’s love in new, radical ways. And then, seemingly without warning they were fearing for their lives, questioning their experiences and loyalty, adrift in a sea of unanswered questions, confusion and disorientation. But this was not the end of the story. Unbeknownst to them, there was something new and wonderful yet to be revealed. Is that possible in our world today? What do imagine as new life beyond the tomb of Stay at Home and Social Distancing…Self-Isolation and Quarantines?
- Have you ever questioned your faith? How did that feel?
- What changed to cause you to reclaim that faith?
- So much has changed, and is in constant flux as we journey from the world before COVID19 to life after the pandemic. Does your faith provide you with guidance and security? If so, how? If not, what does?
PRAYER: O God of time and space, of order and chaos, of straight paths and roller coaster rides, hear my prayer in the midst of my confusion. Help me to feel your presence even when there is an absence of the things that help to bind me and my church community together… the hugs, the friends in the pews, the rituals and sacraments, the church itself. May my faith, even when challenged, be strong enough to see and share hope, to serve and be humble, to love and be loved…to remember that no matter what, I am your beloved child. Amen.
MUSIC LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmnnMHGvVJc