If nothing more, simply come to the resurrected Christ. See that, no matter what, he welcomes you, he forgives you, he delights in you. No matter what you have done or have not done you are loved. You are loved.
LAST DAYS: Imagined moments. The voice of Peter the revolutionary.
I can’t move, can’t continue. The cool waves and wash circle my feet. I swam and ran and floundered toward Him but now I stand. For a moment. I see Him there and I am a statue. Hewn of guilt and regret. Still. Carved into three dimensions of remorse. The sound of morning cockerel reverberates, through this rock of who I am, amplifying shame. Three denials. Three. Three times I said I didn’t know Him. Three times I denied Him. Three times and so many more in my heart. And now he stands before me. Just meters along the shore He stands waiting. Waiting and willing me to come to him.
I’d leapt into the water, waded through it desperate to be with him again. Because no matter what I had to be with him. Where else could I run, to who else could I turn. I came back up here to this place that used to be home after his death, after his resurrection, after I saw him and heard him because still my shame undid me. I returned to my family, to my boat, to my past. I rebounded to what I had known, had been. A fisherman. To what felt safe. To what I thought I wanted. What I thought I needed.
I tried to escape reality and pain, hiding back in to the boat. I’d walked on water with Him, I’d seen him calm the storm on this sea and calm the storm in me. I saw him heal people, free people. I’d even climbed the mountain with him and seen him transformed and heard the Father speak and … and yet still I retreated, returned, rebelled. My humanness overtook me and so last night I was here, I was fishing. I caught nothing. I was empty again. Some kind of mighty revolutionary I am? Huh. I’ve gone in his name and spoken healing and freedom and life. And now I am nothing.
Till just moments ago he spoke through the morning mist. Clarity and truth.
John said, “Kyreos,”
It is Him. The Lord. Jesus.
I threw my cloths around me and waded and swam and struggled and now I’m here standing in this moment. Looking to Him again. Longing to know his warm embrace. Longing to hear his encouragement and hear him laugh. I begin to run to him.
A small fire burns beside him. My memory flashes with its flames reminding of the fire that warmed me that night. That night, before his death. It’s glow illuminates my shame. I blink heavily. I keep running to him. I cannot stop. Don’t want to stop. The smell of smoke throws me back again, attacking me with the condemnation of my denial. Smells remind so potently. I wish I could not smell it now. Couldn’t remember how I abandoned him. I hold my breath and run. Run to him.
And I hold him. And he holds me. And his embrace is everything I hoped it would be. He is everything I need. I am remade and renewed in his presence.
The others come and we eat together and talk together and his laugh is a balm for my soul.
And his voice is a torrent of love and delight and hope.
He turns to me.
He looks me in the eye. He knows me. I am known.
Oh to be known like this and he says,
“Do you love me?” And I can’t breathe. Horror. How can he not know that I love him more than I love myself. That I would die for him. But I didn’t did I, I ran away, I denied him and now he has to asks if I love him?
The words tumble out of my heart, “Yes of course”.
“Feed my sheep.”
He turns to me again, leans in closer, searches deeper
“Do you love me?
All the things I ever said about him drop like precious jewels and disappear into the sand. Those words of beauty and truth shattered by a lie. Can I ever overcome?
“Yes” I try to convince him with all that I am, that I love him.
Feed my sheep.
But he asks again. And it hurts so much.
I crumble and fall inside of myself.
“You know I love you”
And his eyes say it all. He does. He knows I love him. But I needed to know. He smiles at me.
“Feed my sheep”
A refreshing breeze blows from the sea and I’m restored. We are one again.
I am known and I am loved.
Lord Jesus you invite us to come to you
To come to you in our weakness and shame
To come to you in our brokenness and poverty
To come to you in our failure and denial
To come to you in this moment of remembering.
Lord Jesus you invite us to come to you and be known by you.
To be known by you and restored to all we could ever be
To be known by you and forgiven and made right with the father
To be known by you and washed clean and healed and set free
To be known by you and to know your love and acceptance.
Holy Spirit lead us to the place of encounter
Holy Spirit lead us to the place of surrender.