Friday, March 28, 2008

Resurrection Day and Peter

Missio Lux celebrated its' first Holy Weekend. We had a Maundy Thursday experience where we walked with Jesus and his friends through the Passover Meal, their first communion, Jesus' struggle in the garden, his arrest, and his betrayal by two of his friends: Judas and Peter.

Easter Sunday we gathered in some of the worst weather of the whole year to baptize. Before the baptism we heard stories from those committing themselves to the sacrament of baptism. They spoke of how knowing and following Jesus has transformed their entire lives. Many of them lived lives like Peter, knowing Jesus, but disappointing him over and over again. They knew they carried a call from Jesus with them, but for a time, chose the things of the world over the call. They, like Peter, found that the life of the world is very empty.

Our reflection on Resurrection Day was about Peter. Peter, who had great faith, but also great fear. He declared before Jesus and all his friends that he, Peter, was ready to die with Jesus. But, in the courtyard where Jesus was being tried, he didn't even confess to know Jesus--not to people of great authority, but to servants.

So, what happened to give Peter the courage to preach to thousands and see them become Jesus followers? He experienced Pentecost. He received the power of the Holy Spirit and he transformed from a fearful disciple to become a fearless witness.

Peter's reality is our reality. Because Jesus came and died, but did not stay in the grave, we are also given the power to be fearless witnesses. We will screw up, just like Peter. But, that doesn't concern Jesus too much; if it did, he certainly wouldn't have left Peter to lead his church.

Let's not focus on our failures, but on the power of the Holy Spirit given to us to live our faith in a way that makes other people notice and ask: why are you different? As we answer, we too, could see thousands decide to follow Jesus too.

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