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March 26 | Mark 14:66-72


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Denial

by Dan Kidd


Have you ever found yourself utterly embarrassed by someone else? There aren't too many TV shows I've re-watched more frequently than "The Office." Somewhere around season three, I started watching the show as it aired, and then proceeded to buy box sets of the seasons for rewatching. Since then, the whole series is available for streaming, and they've even released several seasons of "Superfan," extended cuts of the show. I've watched them all, several times. One hallmark of the show is that the characters are either put into, or act out, incredibly embarrassing scenes. This is so effective that there are episodes that are so uncomfortable that I squirm and even look away. Routinely I simply want to enter the situation and shut it down or smooth the whole thing over. It is equal parts funny and excruciating.


Similarly, and I suspect you may have experienced this too, I have been embarrassed by others in my encounters. I have sometimes heard friends, loved ones, leaders of "my group" that have said or done something that I cannot, for the life of me, understand or condone. I once worked with a young lady whose job it was to make sure shipments of books got to our company from another company. Sometimes when those books didn't arrive as they were supposed to, I would overhear her being stern and insistent with representatives of the other company. Those conversations would invariably raise my blood pressure and make me squirm for hours after the fact. And, honestly, I don't think she was wrong in what she said or how she said it. But it made me uncomfortable nonetheless. And how much worse is it when I've seen or heard someone do or say something that I know they shouldn't and I, by being somehow associated with them, would suffer an internal humiliation or regret because of them.


Which is all to say I understand Peter in this passage. Though I would love to believe that because it's Jesus he's denying—because of Jesus' righteousness, because of the signs and wonders I'd witnessed, because he'd predicted this very thing, and because I'd sworn my allegiance to him—that I would have done better. But if I'm honest, can I really believe that about myself? Would I truly, after Jesus was betrayed and arrested, and I was left alone without him, have had the integrity and courage to be honest that I knew him and loved him?


The evidence isn't promising. I have, at times, shied away from or "failed to mention" some of the things about my faith, about the Bible's witness to God, about my own faithlessness. It is, I must imagine, easier for me to claim my allegiance to Jesus after he rose from the grave and ascended to his throne. And even then, the consequences of being a professing Christian among certain crowds, in certain circumstances, isn't as natural or simple as I'd like. My willing heart is sometimes overcome by my weakly flesh.


But here's the good news. Not only does this story resume when Jesus restores Peter after the resurrection ("Do you love me?" "You know that I love you."), but Peter's story continues on, wherein he is the foundational rock on which the Church was built. Peter's story, this part included, was Jesus' story of meeting him in his failure and betrayal, and restoring him to the place the Lord had intended for him. Praise God that this is the character of Jesus!


PRAYER

Lord, we confess now that you are trustworthy and worthy of our praise. Worthy of our devotion. As we seek to live in your will and on your path for us, keep us near to you. We seek to be mindful and grateful for you who you are, and let your good news and your name be ever on our lips. Amen.






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1 Comment


robin.lorms
Mar 26

Good morning, Dan. Thank you for your transparent honesty about our weaknesses even as followers of Jesus. I am inclined to give myself way too much credit this side of the cross to be a faithful witness to the impact Jesus has had on my life. I am ready, willing and able to witness to the Gospel message to willing listeners e.g. prisoners, downtrodden, poor and lonely. My weakness shows its ugly head when I am with "successful" people who scorn the Gospel. It is this crowd that I feel like my statement of faith could surely be more bold. I need to remind myself of the courage Jesus had to face His accusers and stand firm on the Good…


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