Subject: Redeemer Downtown Devotional: Third Sunday after Easter - April 29, 2012
Union Square - Photo by Michael Coniaris
Third Sunday after Easter - April 29, 2012
These devotionals are to help you prepare for the Sunday
to come in the Christian calendar.*
After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
John 21:1-19 (ESV)
Throughout Scripture, we see God constantly using the most unlikely people to advance His purposes. From promising descendants to a 75-year old Abraham; to leading the Israelites out of Egypt through an inarticulate Moses; to anointing David, the youngest and smallest of eight brothers, to be the king of Israel; God constantly turns worldly wisdom upside down by selecting people for His glory that no one, not even the people chosen, would have expected. The same is true in Jesus’ selection of Peter as the great shepherd of his people (Matt. 16:18).
Before Peter’s encounter with the resurrected Christ, Peter had publicly proclaimed that, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away,” and “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” Yet, Scripture shows that far from being willing to die with Jesus, Peter publicly denied him three times, even cursing and swearing while he did so. Yet after the resurrection, Jesus graciously gave Peter a chance to be publicly restored to the role Jesus had planned for him. In questioning Peter, Jesus gave the disciple the chance to replace the memory of his threefold denial with a threefold declaration of love; and with each declaration, Jesus invited Peter to build his church, to care for his lambs and sheep.
Many may have thought, why allow someone that lied and rejected Jesus to be a leader of the church? We find the answer by remembering that God’s calling on our lives has nothing to do with our worthiness, but only with His graciousness. It is not about what we have done or want to do, but about what He has done and plans to do. God’s people can know that even after we, like Peter, repeatedly deny and fail our Lord, He will still invite us into His love and into his great purposes. Do you hear the Lord inviting you to join Him in his work? Are you willing to let Him lead you? May we let Him lead us wherever He may go, for His glory and the flourishing of His kingdom.
Susan Nacorda, Downtown Community Group Intern
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly? wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to? love what you command and desire what you promise; that,? among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts? may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; ?through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with?you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect** from The Book of Common Prayer
You are subscribed to the Downtown Devotionals.