Mid Week Devotion 5/13/2020 “Do You Love Me?”
Good morning, afternoon or evening, depending on when you are watching this mid-week version of our online church presentations. I want to extend a greeting to those of who who are joining in today, however you found us, welcome! My name is Pastor Mel, I trust you find this space comforting and refreshing as we continue to journey through life in quarantine.
Sad news to share this morning on the passing of Francis Ballard, I have no word on any services. I have been informed that there will be no services for Millie Laugharn. I have also learned of the passing of Kurt Heller’s mother, Jane Dunlap. Sad news also for Amy Hrynewych and her family on the passing of her Grand-father, Howard Crow.
I have a new baby to announce, Dillion and Kalyssa Brickey welcomed a new baby girl, Oaklee Saylor Brickey on May 7 at Camp Pendleton. She weighed 7 lbs. 14 oz. and was 21” long. Grandparents are Doug and Karmen Birdsell.
Please keep all of these families in your prayers. Let us observe a moment to quietly pray for these families and others.
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
Today let us share an affirmation of faith. This is a responsive reading, I will guide you.
There is one hope, one calling, to which we are called.
Response: The hope in our lives is Jesus. There is one hope, one calling, to which we are called.
Response: The call we must answer is God’s. There is one faith, one hope, one Lord of us all.
Response: The Lord of our lives is Jesus. There is one baptism, one Father, one Mother of all.
Response: The Creator who calls us is God. We are one body, one family, one church,
Response: woven by the Spirit with bonds of peace. With Christ’s children throughout all of this earth,
Response: we are one body in unity and love.
Lord, be with us as we pray the words which you have given to us;
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on Earth As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
For ever. Amen.
SCRIPTURE – John 21:15-19
Jesus Reinstates Peter
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
DEVOTION: “Do You Love Me?”
We are all familiar with before and after pictures. They usually pertain to weight loss or a new hair style. In this passage Jesus is using spiritual before and after images with Peter. The most striking image is having Peter recall the three denials. Jesus does this by asking Peter the same question three times. The before picture of Peter is a fearful person who denies Jesus. The after image is of Peter facing his own death due to his unstoppable witnessing about Jesus. This is the same person in both images, yet the after has changed attitudes.
No longer will fear control Peter, that was the old and something new has taken its place . . . faith. The moment of clarity for Peter was having to think about that question three times, “Do you love me?” Each of us needs to think about it too, we may answer Jesus, “Yes,” three times as well. The deeper question, the one Jesus is looking for is, “What does it mean to love Jesus?”
It means setting aside the old and become something new. In this passage Jesus is foretelling Peter’s physical death due to evangelizing. We are not asked to sacrifice our physical lives, but we have been asked to sit for an after picture. This requires us to aim for the selfless life, following Jesus to places we may nor want to go. The first place we do not want to go, may be standing in front of Jesus and having to answer this question.
One of the reasons we may not want to go to this place is because we will be there alone. Just you and Jesus. No advocate, no parent, no friend, just you and Jesus and the Lord already knows the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This is a place of tremendous vulnerability for us. We will have nothing to stand upon, except grace. The same thing Peter stood on when he had to remember the three denials. Despite that failure, Jesus is still calling, calling to Peter to feed the sheep.
It should give us the same emphatic feeling it gave Peter to know that whatever was done in the past is our before picture, we all have the opportunity for the after picture. Now is the time to schedule an appointment for you new picture.
May God’s peace be with you until we meet again,
Stay safe and God bless.