A post for people who found Easter hard.
Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant-girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, ‘This man was with him.’
But he denied it. ‘Woman, I don’t know him,’ he said.
A little later someone else saw him and said, ‘You also are one of them.’
‘Man, I am not!’ Peter replied.
About an hour later another asserted, ‘Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.’
Peter replied, ‘Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!’ Just as he was speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: ‘Before the cock crows today, you will disown me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Luke 22. 54-62
Arriving back from the Easter service, in several car loads, checking the roast in the oven and putting the veggies on in the light drenched kitchen.
A little welcome sunshine summons the brave into the garden and drinks are being poured. The children are finding forgotten toys in the now thawing sand box and someone is thinking there’s some gardening jobs to be done here.
Whilst the table is set and the gravy is being stirred an old hymn is hummed,
Man of Sorrows! What a Name
Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned he stood,
Sealed my pardon with his blood
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!
This Easter has been harder than the roast and the family and the sunshine made it seem. The pain and the suffering, the violence and the blood. A strange God and His murdered Son. You no longer know what the words mean. Familiar words, crucial words, maybe, maybe not? If you say, ‘I do not know Him’ out loud will the whole universe come tumbling down on your head? Will the whole spinning earth slam on its brakes and send you hurtling into obscurity?
I do not know him
I do not know what you are talking about
Holy Week has marched you too hastily through the streets of Jerusalem and up to the upper room. It left you without time to take it all in: the entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, tables turned in the temple, wise words and earnest prayers. Something weighty and intriguing in the upper room, but they were clearing the table and heading for the garden before you could taste the bread and wine. Out in the garden it was too dark to see the Judas kiss and the clash of swords.
You need to know He has all the time in the world.
You need to know He has all the time in the world for you.
And sometimes all you need to do is say it out loud, I do not know him, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Say it like a surrender, bail out on the striving, waiver the lie, throw in the towel on impossible things, because when Peter said, ‘I do not know Him’ he was entirely wrong.
Photo shows medieval glass, St Mary’s Church, Burnham Deepdale, Norfolk