Thoughts from Easter Sunday

April 16, 2017

 

I was sitting in the sanctuary, legs crossed, listening intently to the sermon.  Scribbling barely legible notes on the back of a scrap paper, I heard Pastor say ‘Who has ever promised God something and then they didn’t do it?’ 

 

I startled and looked around the large room.  Hands were hesitantly going up …and I slowly added mine. Scenes and moments were popping into my mind like a projector on steroids – so many times, So many deals I'd made, so many opportunities …missed. Yes, I could definitely relate to everyone in this room.

 

Before I could fully digest my answer to that question, another one came my way - ‘Who has promised God they would stop doing something and then they did it again?’

More hands, all across the building.  There was some comfort in knowing I wasn't alone in this.  As my own hand again went up, my mind added to the  reel that wouldn’t stop.  Moments of defeat, blasts of weakness, words I’d spewed, repeating over and over again in my in the depths of my memories.

 

This is how Peter must have felt when the Lord turned and looked at him after he did exactly what he said he wouldn’t do!  That moment of eye contact must have been so intense; can you imagine? Peter had promised Jesus repeatedly that he would always follow Him, no matter what. And that he certainly would never deny Him. Peter – who could see and talk and literally walk with Jesus – Peter, who knew Jesus - promised that he would never deny him. And yet…he did….again and again. 

(see Matt 26: 31-33;  Matt 26:35; Luke 22:60-62

 

(Although this ‘big moment’ is the one that the bible documents, I’m sure this wasn’t the first of Peter’s failures; of his weak moments. I’m sure he had broken promises before.  We often forget that the heroes of the bible were just as human as we are and that their ‘hero’ qualities came out of their broken and obedient lives.)

 

And so today, I will choose not follow the ‘Elastic Word’ – a Word that I can stretch and make it say whatever I want.  I will not hang my head in shame and walk in defeat – or stand on a pedestal in pride, looking down on others – but I will walk in victory because I serve a God who died on the cross for my failures and He rose again so I can start over. 

 

Just like Peter, who, in Acts 2, chose to stand up and preach to the crowd, adding 3,000 to the church; I have the opportunity to start over and to make things right. 

What a fool I would be not to take th

 

at opportunity!  Christians!  Stand up, brush yourselves off and start again - Christ has risen!  He has risen indeed! 

 

{Click here to listen to the whole sermon or visit www.calvaryhampton.org/listen}

 

 

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