Windows into the Light by Michael Sullivan

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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Tuesday, December 16

And [Jesus] said, "I say to you Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you do not know me."
—Luke 22:34

I know that I am a child of God. I am baptized—marked as Christ's own forever. I read the scriptures, pray, share my faith, and try to live a good life. My Christian identity is secure.

And yet, just like Peter, I deny Jesus all the time. I know God in Christ. I know that I am called to be the incarnate love of Christ to this world, trusting fully in Jesus and his reconciling love. I know it. But with Peter, I fail over and over again, denying Jesus in my everyday life.

Ironically, the good news is that I do fail. I do not earn my salvation. I do nothing to merit grace. It is just freely given. And so when I can accept the fact that I do deny God, I do sin, I do mess up, then I have a chance, with Peter, to be a part of the work of Jesus on this earth.

These last days of Advent have always been about getting back to the incarnation for me. I focus on God in Christ, the fully human, fully divine mystery of the Messiah. I think about God coming, dwelling among us, and moving mountains to be right next to us so we can know love.

I think about God being so incredible, so nurturing that God walks with me no matter what, even when I deny who I was created to be—when I deny being created in God's likeness.

And for some reason, thinking about Peter is also helpful. For he has become an image of incarnate love to me. He made mistakes. He denied Jesus. And yet, God redeemed him, made him whole, used him for the Body of Christ.

Isn't that what God asks of you and me? And isn't that incarnate life the life we are given? Isn't that the whole point of this time of year?

God, let me trust your incarnate love in my life, and with Peter and all the saints, help me let go of all the things that deny you and be who you created me to be in your image. Amen.