Message from the chaplain - 16 March 2018
Immediately after Christ had been arrested, Peter was asked three times if he were one of Christ’s disciples: three times, out of intense fear, Peter denied any association with Jesus (John 18:15-27). How that must have broken Peter within. Denying Christ meant abandoning a dear friend, mentor and Saviour; it also meant Peter’s denying his identity as a disciple of Christ.
After Christ’s resurrection from the dead, Jesus revealed himself to his disciples. Once they had all shared breakfast together, Jesus spoke to Peter: “Simon Peter, do you love me?” How desperately Peter must have needed to answer, as he did, “Lord, you know that I love you.” Three times, Jesus asked the question, and three times Peter answered in the affirmative, each time healing a little more the brokenness within Peter (and Jesus?) resulting from Peter’s denial (John 21:1-19).
As we continue in Lent, let us prayerfully reflect on the times in our lives when we might not live our identity as those who love Christ, for whatever reason. Perhaps it is out of fear of not being accepted by others. Conversely, it may be that living our identity means taking a difficult moral stand in a situation, or possibly it means living in a way that is less than convenient in our busy lives, or giving up something we enjoy ... or admitting that we were wrong.
Let us bring those times before God, and ask God to continue God’s work within us, so that at Easter we may know that we too rise a new person at Easter, reconciled with Christ and sent out once again to “feed [Christ’s] lambs”, as those who love Christ.
Revd Claudia Coustas