on this rock -sermon for Petertide 2013
Who are your role models?
I’ll take a bet most of them seem to be pretty good at whatever it is you’re looking to them to model, whether its creative or musical skills athletic ability, leadership, academic success, parenting, .. the list goes on.
No one usually picks a role model with a list of flaws as long as their arm, much less are they picked to pioneer & found something as important as the church,..
Today along with Paul, we remember Peter.
Peter probably the disciple we know the most about from the Gospel accounts –
Peter perhaps the disciple who we all relate to the most.
But possibly not the one who was voted as “ disciple most likely to succeed”
Possibly not the one who sprang to anyone’s mind as a role model.
Peter was the enthusiastic visionary, the one jumping up and down with all the ideas.
“ lets do this..”
“Hey yes I can walk on water”
Peter was probably the one who when he spoke the others rolled their eyes or facepalmed .. oh no,whats he said NOW…?
Peter was too the disciple who failed spectacularly, denying 3 times that he ever knew Jesus,
But Peter was also the disciple who knew more than anyone the restoring power of God’s love, and forgiveness.
Peter gives us all hope –because he is not some kind of perfect Saint – Perfect Peter he is not,
But Jesus loves him all through it and never loses his belief in what Peter can do, is called to do, will do.
To the others, to us, Peter is hardly the one who might be called the Rock.
He’s as flakey as a box of cereal,
To Jesus however he’s got a calling, to be the Rock, the foundations, to build the church,
to grow the Kingdom, in partnership with his Lord.
We don;t always make the right judgements about others
Or about ourselves
We fail to see the abilities and gifts we have been given –
We seek strength,
Forgetting that it is in our weakness that Gods strength is made known
We look for perfection and castigate ourselves when we fail,
Forgetting to understand that it is in our restoration that we become stronger and learn, and are given the ability to grow into our calling.
Jesus’s statement to Peter comes as a result of Peter’s declaration about him
You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God
To which Jesus responds with
You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church
Perhaps the rock on which Christ build his church is not just Peter himself but the rock of faith,
that statement itself “ you are the Christ”
This is the rock on which our faith, our church is built,
The proclamation of Jesus as God’s son, the anointed one,
When we proclaim Jesus, in word, and in action
When we proclaim his love for us all
When we proclaim his forgiveness and his restoration to the broken world in which we live – then the foundations of our faith grow, and the walls of the Kingdom are built
When we proclaim Jesus as the Christ our own lives his strength and restoration strengthens us,
We too like Peter become rocks, on which the faith of others can be supported and grow.
Our life as church, here in this community and gathering and a s the whole church, the family of Christ is built on the proclamation of Jesus as the son of God. A proclamation that strengthens each of us, and gives us our foundations.
Our faith and that of those around is a corporate faith, we’re in this together.
Like Peter we fail and fall, we open our big mouths and put our feet in, but like him we can know forgiveness and restoration in our own lives and to offer it to others.
Like Peter we are also to be enthusiastic for our faith , for our relationship with God
We are to proclaim it loudly, some of us are going be more prepared to leap out of the boat and get our feet wet, others have louder voices!
We must remember we are family
None of us are too flakey or flawed that we can’t be restored & called & used by God
None of us have it completely right either,
We welcome each other into this family for the first time and every time, acknowledging our different gifts and callings and promising always to support each other, to be rocks for each other as we walk the path of life together, and build Christ’s church by our love and our actions.