|This is a new offering in Christian formation here at St. Peter's, Spotswood. Each week of Sunday School in the 2015-2016 academic year, the "Fisherman's Net" will be posted. You can sign up for email delivery HERE.|
Making Mistakes: Being Wrong and Knowing Grace
I have been a priest for 20 years, and a follower of Jesus since my baptism. That rebirth in Christ happened just over 48 years ago at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Lansing Michigan. you would think with that record of service and involvement that I would have a good handle on knowing and following Jesus. I should know now, almost 50 years into this walk with my Lord and Savior, just how to answer his question to his disciples, "But who do you say that I am?" that is offered in this coming Sunday's reading.
I have known Jesus in the songs and prayers I was taught in Sunday School and at Vacation Bible School. I have met Jesus in my teachers, my pastors, my parents, my friends and mentors. I have met Jesus in the people I serve in my parishes, and in the many outside that assembly that I have contacted through the years. I should know better. I should see more clearly. I should recognize Jesus as the Messiah, the one coming into the world as my patron, Peter, did when we offered the unbidden and much-desired confession. Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed of God. I should know that, and knowing that I should be living a better life than the one I wind up choosing each day of my life.
Instead, I see myself realized in Peter's choice to argue with Jesus about the nature and truth of His being Messiah. Jesus is excited to hear Peter confess him as the Anointed, and then rushes into an exposition of what it means for him to be that One. What does it mean? It means rejection. It means being broken, then killed. It means death and then....after all that....life like life has never been known before.
That is Good News, but like Peter and most of the rest of us, I struggle to accept that life in Christ means embracing the shattering brokenness as a gateway into renewal and resurrection. Why? Because, simply, that sort of journey HURTS. It means accepting that we aren't living in a perfectable world. It means being abraded by the people we love. It means abrading the people we love. It means having a perfect knowledge that we are in this life imperfect; and that imperfection means injustice and loss of righteousness are our reality...until we resolve to become more completely immersed in Christ's journey to the Cross.
It means, at our hearts core....as the base of our soul....that we embrace and to not reject that part and parcel with being sanctified as the Body of Christ in this world means as well making mistakes on a nearly operatic level on a daily basis. It means being wrong and knowing Grace.
It is only then, in that realization, that the keys of the Kingdom Jesus promises Peter manifest in our hands. When we know we are not worthy to claim entrance into the kingdom, it is then that we are entrusted with the keys...in order that those gates are always kept open.
Open for all...no one is to be excluded from the invitation to enter into new and renewed life in Jesus' resurrection.