Keeping Easter going: Jesus calls us to act
Sunday, April 30, 2017 – 9:30 & 11:00am
Easter is a season that keeps going indefintitely… the promise of new life and hope is the ongoing message. This week’s bible reading tells the story of an interaction between Jesus and his friend Peter on the lake shore after they had eaten breakfast.
Jesus keeps quizzing Peter about whether he loves him… and Peter gets defensive and indignant in his responses. Some people have used this passage to support the idea that Jesus was appointing Peter as the first Pope. I think that is a stretch. I believe instead that he was pushing Peter to see his faith as not simply devotion to his teacher but rather to transform that devotion into loving actions towards everyone in the world around him:
John 21:15-19 (Common English Bible)
When they finished eating, Jesus asked Simon Peter, ”Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, ”Feed my lambs.” Jesus asked a second time, ”Simon son of John, do you love me?” Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, ”Take care of my sheep.” He asked a third time, ”Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was sad that Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” He replied, “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.”
Jesus said to him, ”Feed my sheep. I assure you that when you were younger you tied your own belt and walked around wherever you wanted. When you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and another will tie your belt and lead you where you don’t want to go.” He said this to show the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. After saying this, Jesus said to Peter, ”Follow me.”
Some people prefer a Christian faith that is all about professing loyalty to Jesus and celebrating how wonderful Jesus is. This was clearly not at all what Jesus had in mind… at least not for Peter. His was a calling to sheep-feeding and lamb-tending… of caring for people in need. Jesus didn’t say “get my sheep organized” or “become a big name shepherd.” Rather the instruction was to be in service. How does this translate into your life? How is Jesus calling you to act out your faith?
After services on Sunday:
12:30 Sunday School Parent meeting
2:00 Town Hall meeting on Sanctuary Congregation
(expected sometime in the next few days).
St. Mark’s, as the Church Council makes a decision about whether or not to become a Sanctuary Congregation
Prayers please for:
Walter Aldrich,Ginny Baldauf, Rita Clark, Celina Davin, Monica Marks, Alice Miller, Steve Mitchell, Vivian Noble, Joella Sparks