07 March 2009
Meanwhile, Peter followed far behind and then slipped inside the gates of the high priest’s courtyard. For a while he sat with the guards, warming himself by the fire. (Mark 14:54 NLT)
Jesus changed Peter’s life one day on the shore of Lake Galilee with the words, “Follow me!” As Peter followed Jesus he saw miracles of healing and provision and he lived with a sense of purpose he had never imagined he could have. Now he was uncertain, full of doubt and fear, weary and feeling betrayed. Now he was following far behind.
Following far behind, he lost sight of Jesus and began to warm himself by the fire. Then as doubts and questions and fear filled his mind, he denied he even knew Jesus, his friend and hero.
You and I are “Christ-followers.” When we follow closely, the path often gets narrow and steep and scary, but we know Jesus is near and we get to see and experience miracles, and joy, and purposefulness. And he talks to us and encourages us.
I thought about you this morning and I wondered if you’re following Jesus closely or if weariness and disappointment and discouragement and betrayal has caused you to fall back a bit. I wondered if, like Peter, you are following far behind. Have you fallen into the “warming yourself by the fire” mode where your thoughts are about looking after yourself, protecting your interests, and trying to be comfortable?
Come on, dear friends, let’s pick up the pace. Let’s move quickly to where Jesus is and not just hang around, warming ourselves by the fire, waiting for something to happen!
Father, I pray for my fellow pilgrims who are weary or disappointed or discouraged or doubtful or reeling from the pain of betrayal or loss. Please fill my friends with hope and joy and purpose and peace. Heal our wounds and refresh our weary souls, through your great love and by the power of your Spirit. And call each of us to follow closely once again. Amen.