From the Vicar…
My dearest sisters and brothers,
Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.
Peter denies Christ three times. The cock crows.
This is Peter, who had said to Jesus just hours earlier:
‘Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.’
Peter must be feeling terrible. He can no longer feel he is the rock on which the
Church will be built. How could he?
He was dragged along with what the crowd was feeling, he went with
what everyone else was saying, and did not follow what he knew was true.
It is a personal denial of Christ, it is stated.
The crowd pull him away from the one he loves.
The events that follow Peter’s denial are shocking.
The crucifixion of Jesus must have cut into Peter’s very soul, and his denials
must have been repeating in his heart, with pain, regret and remorse.
So the news from Mary Magadalene on Easter morning must have made
his heart skip a beat, jump with joy.
The empty tomb is filled with anticipation for Peter.
Later, when he sees the Risen Christ, he must be feeling some sort of relief.
But Jesus isn’t finished with him yet.
Jesus says, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’
His denials have shown he was not ready to live fully to Christ.
No longer the rock, just Simon.
Peter says: ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’
Jesus says to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’
Jesus asks: ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’
Peter: ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’
Jesus says to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’
Jesus says for a third time: ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’
Peter is hurt. I wonder if his hurt is because he feels he hasn’t been heard,
or maybe he is embarrassed.
Maybe the penny has dropped.
‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’
Jesus, thrice denied, thrice loved.
Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.’
In his forgiven state, we can know he is again Peter,
the rock on which the Church will be built.
He is given a job: look after the young, look after the flock, teach and feed the flock.
What Jesus’ rehabilitation of Peter shows us is that we too will always be forgiven.
Jesus will always give us another chance.
God is forgiving, his way is mercy not anger.
The Risen Christ asks Peter three times if he loves him.
He asks Peter to follow him. He asks us too.
For all the times we may deny him, he forgives us,
and he still asks us: Follow me.
Our answer can only be yes.
The Third Sunday of Easter
- Congratulations to our Music Director, Paul Ellis, who on Monday was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit by the Governor General, Dame Patsy Reddy, for services to music. Paul has been National President of The Royal School of Church Music New Zealand since 1997 and we are privileged to have him at S. Michael’s as organist and director of our choirs.
- Lunch today: 12 noon at the Pegasus Arms.
- Needlework Group: Tuesday 7:00 pm at Joy Coulter’s home. All welcome. Contact Ros for details (322 6078).
- Meditation Group meets in the Lady Chapel Wednesdays at 12 noon.
Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215) or Pat Evans (358 0127).
- Parish Trust meets on Wednesday at 5:15 pm.
- Angelology Group meets Thursdays, 10:30 am in the Lady Chapel.
- May Breakfast: Saturday 9:30 am in the parish lounge. Koha appreciated. If you are planning to come please phone Ros (322 6078) or text 027 242 8282.
- Bible Study Group resumes on 13 May. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
- Book Swap in the parish lounge. Koha to the parish.
- Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.