Sometimes I get a little nudge that I haven’t talked about Grace in a while. This Sunday it was a BIG nudge.
On Holy Thursday night, the Apostle Peter, who my church recognizes as the first earthly leader of the Church, denied that he knew Jesus three times. As Jesus had foretold at the Last Supper.
I have never blamed Peter. Our first human instinct is to LIVE. Plus, at that point, he didn’t know what was at stake.
This was Peter’s all-In moment. Right? How many times has this happened to us, where we’re kind-of-committed to something in our lives, but at that last moment, we walk—from fear, from uncertainty, from misunderstanding.
Then we know almost immediately that we blew it. That we walked from something hard, but good. And usually, it’s only at this moment of loss that we see the true value of the thing we almost had, if only we had been all-in.
This happens so often in our lives that there are lots of sayings about it: Oh well. That’s the one that got away. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. Can’t unring the bell.
In this moment right here—the Peter moment—we can make a lot of choices. We can regret, or hate ourselves for missing out, or become angry, or blame others.
Here is Sunday’s Gospel reading:
After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?[e]”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.” (John 21: 15-17)
I swear, the hair stood up on my arms in church. Because that right there is LOVE. And FORGIVENESS. And REDEMPTION. Face to face, one by one, Jesus healed Peter’s denials.
Peter went on to become the first earthly leader of Jesus’ followers and he was so all-in that he died on a cross for his faith.
Life is full of it. There is no wound that cannot be healed, no sin that cannot be forgiven, no fear that cannot be overcome and no Peter Moment that cannot become all-in.