Share: A moment from today when you felt close to God, and a moment when you felt far from God.
Read: John 18.25-27
Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, ‘You are not also one of his disciples, are you?’ He denied it and said, ‘I am not.’ One of the slaves 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?’ Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.
Reflect: Think back to last Sunday's reading (read it again if that helps: John 13.1-17). Peter's enthusiasm for Jesus, even when he misunderstood foot washing, was obvious. In the passage just before the one we read on Sunday (John 18.1-11), Peter is so zealous for Jesus that when a group comes to arrest Jesus, he attacks one of them with a sword. Remembering this, Peter's denial does not seem to be the result of doubt. Jesus has been arrested and has begun to walk down the path that will lead to his death. Peter surely would have understood the seriousness of the situation even if he could not guess the end result. Perhaps it was Peter's confidence in the Roman authorities that trumped his faith in Jesus. The power of the Roman Empire was real and concrete; Peter must have grown up seeing the Roman soldiers and tax collectors. Despite all of his former enthusiasm for Jesus, Rome was still this huge powerful force.
Discuss: Are there things in your life that you have too much faith in? A lot of times these are hard to see. What are the things that keep you from hearing God's call? What keeps you from listening to God, what seems too important, too essential, or too terrifying to let go?
Listen: to Bob Dylan’s song You Gotta Serve Somebody. Here’s a recording made by Mavis Staples:
Pray: Ask God to show you where you have put your trust in something or someone other than Christ. Set a timer for two minutes, and allow the Spirit to show you those places in your life where you need to trust God more. End with the Lord’s Prayer, emphasizing the line “your will be done.”