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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 2, 2005

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2005
      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."
      Matthew 26:69-75

      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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