What a friend we have in Peter. I am sure someone, somewhere will call me a heretic for desecrating the sacred hymn What a Friend We Have in Jesus. Of course, I love Jesus and recognize Him as a "friend of sinners." So in a sense Jesus is my friend. However, I have a tendency to identify at times more with Peter. I really believe that Peter and I could have been BFF if lived in the same neighborhood.
The motto for a church whose newsletter I read each week is "Helping People Get Through the Week." What a great mission statement! Most of us are torn between our weaker and stronger angels, between the good that we would do the bad that we actually do. Most of us simply want to make it through the week without making a fool our of ourselves.
For me, the apostle Peter is an excellent model for this weekly struggle. Some weeks he made it; other weeks he fell flat on his face. I am grateful the Roman Catholic Church chose him to the be the first Pope and not one of the other guys. He is so much like us, at least me, and we, or at least I, am so much like him. Therefore, What a friend we have in Peter.
I will not quote the scriptures here but I encourage you to take the time to look them up and study them. One moment Peter has great faith (Matthew 16:16). Another moment he is rudely rebuked as Satanic for his unbelief (Matthew 16:23). One day he promises loyalty (Matthew 26:33). The next day he breaks promises (Matthew 26:70). One moment he is blinded by his upbringing (Acts 10:14); another moment his is awakened by the Spirit (Acts 10:28).
Be hard on Peter because you need to be hard on yourself. Be kind to Peter because you need some tenderness for yourself. I am frightened by people who think they are fully good, and I am dismayed by people who think they are no good at all. I am most encouraged by those who live creatively in the tension between their strongest and weakest angels, by those who simply make it through the week without making a fool out of themselves.
Have a good, bad, oh well, let me just say.......normal week.
This is my story...