Daily Archives: April 9, 2021

Evening Prayer: April 9th

God of creation, thank you for the gift of this day. We thank you for the blessings and we commit to you the failings and disappointments, asking that you would redeem them into that which will glorify you. We ask that you would help us to not lose hope in the midst of darkness, yet also help us to take the high road when our enemies seem to be overwhelming us. This night – we seek rest. Grant us peace and create within us a right spirit and mind that tomorrow Christ may be evidenced through us. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Daily Scripture Passage: Psalm 118

Psalm 118 (ESV)

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

118 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!

Let Israel say,
    “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
    “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say,
    “His steadfast love endures forever.”

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
    the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
    What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper;
    I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in princes.

10 All nations surrounded me;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
12 They surrounded me like bees;
    they went out like a fire among thorns;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
13 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling,
    but the Lord helped me.

14 The Lord is my strength and my song;
    he has become my salvation.
15 Glad songs of salvation
    are in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,
16     the right hand of the Lord exalts,
    the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”

17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
    and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has disciplined me severely,
    but he has not given me over to death.

1Open to me the gates of righteousness,
    that I may enter through them
    and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
    the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
    and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
    it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it

25 Save us, we pray, O Lord!
    O Lord, we pray, give us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
    We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God,
    and he has made his light to shine upon us.
Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,
    up to the horns of the altar!

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
    you are my God; I will extol you.
29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!

Thoughts to Ponder from John 18:25-27

John 18:25-27 (ESV)

Peter Denies Jesus Again

25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.

     I must confess that there was a time in which I used to read this particular part of the Passion narrative and get quite upset with Peter. In my thinking, I could not comprehend how Peter could possibly deny Christ. I mean, let’s face it, this was a man who walked three years in the presence of Jesus. He was present for countless numbers of Jesus’ miracles. It is easy to assume that he was present when Jesus touched the funeral bier of the widow of Nain’s son as well as when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. How many times did Jesus cast out demons in the presence of Peter? Still, what about when Jesus walked on water during a storm, called Peter from the boat in the midst of that storm, and then commanded the waves to be still? 

     After being witness to all of this, after seeing all of the great and mighty acts of Jesus that pointed solely and directly to Jesus’ Lordship, here at the crucifixion was Peter denying any affiliation with Jesus whatsoever! How on earth could this be? I used to judge Peter because I thought it was an extreme act of cowardice that would cause him to do this. This little act in the drama of Peter’s discipleship was a difficult pill for me to swallow. I questioned how on earth this man could possibly have followed Jesus in the manner in which he did, yet still he could deny Christ? How strong could his faith truly be? 

     Then I would make this bold statement: “I would never do what Peter did!” Oh really?

     I may not outright deny Jesus with my words. I may not be questioned by people around me, knowing that the wrong answer will land me on a cross right next to Jesus – but are any of us really any different than Peter? 

      “Of course we are!” May be the answer that sits readily on our lips. But are we really? Think about it this way. We may not literally utter words of denial from our lips, but my question is: how often do we deny Jesus day by day: by our action or inaction? By our words or lack of words? How often do we deny Jesus by the way we treat one another? It’s very easy to be self-righteous and super critical of Peter, but the reality is this: what right do we have to do this? 

     I know, speaking for my own life, that I have “denied” Jesus more times than I would care to admit. There are times when I lose self-control and I speak words that are not very kind. I admit that my temper can get the best of me. I know there are days that I do not speak kindly of others. There are temptations and struggles that I face that are not ones I like to face – but I do. Living the life of a disciple in this world, is not easy. In fact, it is downright difficult. 

     That’s the point. People like to give Peter a bad wrap, but is this wrap fair to Peter? As I have previously stated, we may not necessarily, verbally deny Jesus – but how many of our actions and words deny Him? Like I mentioned, I used to give Peter a bad wrap, but then I saw a little bit of Peter in me, perhaps too much of Peter in me. 

So today, I ask the question: in what ways do I deny Jesus? 

Risen Lord, I confess that there are times in my life that I deny you by my actions, thoughts and words. Forgive me and help me to be ever mindful of my baptized identity that I may grow so much into your likeness, that I would become like Peter, the Rock and foundation in which my faith is so strong, I will not deny you in any way. Amen.