I had just put my computer down after a couple hours, yes hours, of reading blogs that I follow and other miscellaneous meanderings on the internet. I made another cup of tea, gathered the laundry, sorted it and started a load, and finally sat down to dig into the bible. It was 7:15 am. I like to start my day with prayer and bible study homework because I always seem to accomplish so much more, or at least the day goes more smoothly. I opened my “Little Black Book” which contains daily 6 minute meditations on the gospel readings for Lent. Today’s emphasized Peter’s denial of Jesus three times after Jesus was arrested.
Jesus predicted that this would happen and Peter adamantly denied that he could ever do that to Jesus. After all, he was one of the apostles, one of the twelve, his best friends, how could Jesus think that his friend would deny knowing him? Yet, Peter did deny Jesus, and Jesus called him on it with a look. Peter immediately realized what he had done and ran off to cry in his remorse.
- Peter’s Denial by Rembrandt, 1660. Jesus is shown in the upper right hand corner, his hands bound behind him, turning to look at Peter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Don’t we all do that sometimes? I know I do. It struck me as I was reading it, almost took my breath away, that I do it every day. Even though I believe in Jesus and love him with my whole heart, I still push him away and I never realized it until now. Think about all those times when you just want to say, “Amen!” but you don’t….because it’s awkward. What about in conversation with others when something pops into your head about Jesus, like suggesting that someone ask him for help or inviting someone to church, but you don’t say it…..because it’s awkward. Have you ever wanted to just drop to your knees in thanks and prayer because of something wonderful that has happened, but you don’t……..because it’s awkward? That is pushing Jesus away, putting distance between you and Him, denying Him. We all do it in some small way at some time.
When I realized what I do, I felt compelled to come right back to my computer and write about it. It was 7:30 am. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to because I have never been comfortable talking about my relationship with God, but then I realized that that is exactly why I should. I have mentioned my discomfort in these matters before, in other posts, about how awkward it is for me to express my love for God. There have been times when I have omitted thoughts and ideas from my post because they seemed too religious, or preachy perhaps…..because I felt awkward. Peter ran off crying in his remorsefulness. He realized how much he had hurt his best friend and was sorry. Jesus forgave him instantly and renewed their bond, brought him close again. Jesus later appointed Peter to lead the church and bring all of His followers together. Peter became the first pope.
Do you feel remorse, sorrow, sadness for pushing Jesus away? I do. My heart is literally, physically aching right now. But Jesus forgives us too. Try every day to talk out loud to Jesus, or about Jesus, with another person. The more you do, the less awkward it will feel.