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Windows into the Light by Michael Sullivan

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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, “Are you not also one of his disciples?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a kinsman of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Peter again denied it; and at once the cock crowed.
—John 18: 25-27

Good Friday

The whole of the passion narrative is striking. It contains many characters, sub-plots, and themes. Its dramatic reading in most churches on Palm Sunday or today, Good Friday, moves the soul. In particular, when the crowd shouts, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” we all know that we stand and shout with them. The crowds of yesterday are truly the crowds of today, and our experience is synonymous with theirs.

But the portion of the reading that stirs me the most is Peter’s denial of Christ. Peter knew first-hand of Jesus and his amazing ministry. Peter, the "rock" upon which the Church would be built, knew perhaps better than anyone else of God’s message in Christ. And yet, in an hour when Jesus really needed him, Peter turned away. Just as Jesus foretold, Peter denied that he knew him several times before the cock crowed—its voice ringing through all eternity.

We too are like Peter. We follow Jesus, we try to understand him, but with the greatest of the disciples, we too deny Christ. Denying Christ is always our sin; we do it again and again. But our focus should not be soley upon the denial. We must also see ourselves as one like Peter. If Peter denied Christ and yet was used by God, so too we are redeemed and useable in God’s Kingdom.

On this most holy of days, let our focus be on the work of God.

Accept your denial of God and Christ’s actions in your life, but move beyond your sin. Let God through Christ take all your denials, and knowing fully that the cock has already crowed, know also that God has redeemed his Son. Easter light is coming your way.

Accept your place with Peter as a child of God.

God of the cross, I deny you too often in my life, and fail to admit my wrongs. On this holy day, increase my desire for you and bring me to a place of honesty, so that I may move beyond denial to become your redeemed child. Amen.