Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 2, 2005
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our new book
of daily devotions, "Living as the Beloved:
One Day at a Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
It is safe to cry with God
"Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard.
And a maid came up to him, and said, 'You also
were with Jesus the Galilean.' But he denied it
before them all, saying, 'I do not know what you
mean.' And when he went out to the porch, another
maid saw him, and she said to the bystanders,
'This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.' And again
he denied it with an oath, 'I do not know the man.'
After a little while the bystanders came up and
said to Peter, 'Certainly you are also one of them,
for your accent betrays you.' Then he began to
invoke a curse on himself and to swear, 'I do not
know the man.' And immediately the cock crowed.
And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, 'Before
the cock crows, you will deny me three times.'
And he went out and wept bitterly."
Peter's tears remind us that fear can sometimes
overpower loving courage. Peter had done his best
to stay near Jesus while the other disciples had
fled for their lives. His public outing by the
servant girl proved to be terrifying. Peter was
faced with a dangerous and potentially deadly
dilemma. If he identified as one of Jesus'
disciples, he could possibly share the same fate
as his beloved master. Instinctively Peter denied
his best friend again and again without thinking.
In several panic stricken moments, Peter betrayed
Jesus more powerfully than Judas Iscariot. Judas
had the soul of a traitor and had carefully
premeditated his actions for some time. Peter
had the soul of loyal friend who loved Jesus
passionately, but when the chips were down and
his life was as stake, Peter impulsively betrayed
Jesus by denying their relationship. He lied to
save his own skin. Can we really blame him for
his cowardice? What would we have done in his
The rooster crowed as Jesus had earlier predicted.
Overcome with remorse, Peter fled outside the
courtyard and wept bitter heartrending tears. His
grief only intensified as he remembered the loving
look Jesus gave him as Peter cursed and repeatedly
insisted he did not know Jesus. Jesus had looked
him right in the eye and gazed into the depths of
his soul. Peter then ran for his life, berating
himself with a self-hatred and loathing we can
only imagine. He would carry the memories of his
bitter betrayal of Jesus to his grave.
As Peter wept bitter tears of shame, grief, and
regret he unwittingly found it was safe to cry
with God. I suspect he was unaware of God's
tender presence in his defining moment of human
failure. God was with him throughout the horror
of the moment, and would help him live through
the terrible events that lay ahead. After the
resurrection, Peter's tears would eventually
lead him to a life transforming and soul refining
repentance, bringing him an empowering resolve to
serve the risen Christ and build his church. He
would become a great preacher and influential
pastor to many churches before dying a martyr's
death for his loyalty to the new Christian faith.
So often in life we minimize our pain and try to
stifle and hide our tears. Tears are something
many of us are ashamed of as a sign of weakness
and inadequacy. We even apologize when crying
in our deepest agony. But God created tears for
a purpose. They cleanse our souls and hearts,
bringing healing and strength. The next time
tears well up in our eyes, let them become an
agent of God's grace. Have a good cry and you
too, will find it is safe to cry with God.
There are times when even a tear rolling
quietly down our cheeks is a silent prayer.
God, today Peter's tears have become mine. With
Peter, may I find you safe to cry with and find
comfort and courage in my times of need. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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