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I used to think Peter was kind of a rowdy.

A bit ragged around the edges.

Rough-shod.

Impulsive.

Scraggly beard (don’t ask me why, it’s just the picture I had in my head)

We do know he sometimes spoke first, thought second; kind of a “ready-fire-aim” approach. Dad always smiled when he had the chance to slip one of his favorite quips into a sermon or lesson that talked about Peter. He’d say:

There really should be a verse somewhere that reads ‘…and Peter, not knowing what to say, said…’

The older I get, though —and I am getting older; we all are— the less harsh I am with him. Some things are more difficult than others at certain points in our lives.

I’ve come to see that Peter was 100% R-E-A-L. He may not have been transparent but doggone, was he ever authentic. What you saw was what and who he was.

El Greco - Paul and Peter - 1592

I invite you to come with me this week. Let’s look at Peter through un-tinted lenses. Feel free to place your thoughts alongside mine as we move through Holy Week and maybe a few days into the week following.

I’ll tag my entries so they’re easy to find later, but you don’t have to wait for any of my posts to comment – you can clip your thoughts to this post if you like, no need to stick to my schedule just because it’s convenient for me. I won’t be adhering to the chronology of the week, no reason for you to feel you you need to either. In fact, if I see something in your comment about one of these I may pick it up and insert it in the day’s thoughts (with credit due, of course) when I write and post this week.

  • Peter, Self-Reliance and Overconfidence (Simple observations from the Gospels “I will never!”)
  • Peter’s Collapse (“Shoot that rooster! No, just shoot me.”)
  • Peter’s Shame (Imaginging the darkness between Calvary and Sunday morning)
  • Peter’s Relief (Resurrection morning “He’s not here!”)
  • Peter’s Ambition and Resolve (“I’m forgiven! Do you KNOW what that MEANS??!”)
  • Peter – the Tender and Understanding (Taken from his demeanor as he wrote 1 & 2 Peter)

Please remember these are not intended to be exegetical; there are many more qualified to do that than I am. I’ll stay true to the Word, of course, but the week’s thoughts will be devotional in nature. Intensely personal. The way Peter would if he were sitting across the table from you at Starbuck’s or Black Canyon Coffee, my favorite place, and his words are straight from his heart – he does have one, you know. Always has. Let’s let him be honest. Why not, there’s enough pretending in the church. Maybe God will use something that’s said to change and sharpen us this week. I hope so.

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If you know someone who has a record library (you know, LPs, those big black discs we used to consider state of the art) or can find a recording of Don Francisco’s “He’s Alive”, you’ll hear the narrative from his perspective. If you can’t find it, try this [link] (just for the audio – it should open in another window and you can keep reading). Kleenex might be a good idea. (For some reason I think Dolly Parton’s rendition, though skilled, fell short. Maybe it’s that hers is a treble-clef voice and Peter’s probably wasn’t, I don’t know.)

Years ago I sang “He’s Alive” in biblical costume on Easter Sunday morning. We digitally lowered it two whole steps and it was still high. The song is so powerful I nearly didn’t make it through to the end. I’m older now, have weathered more of life’s storms, even caused a few. So I know enough not to even try. But I can write and you’ll not see the tears, only heartfelt thoughts from a child of God who knows what it is to be forgiven, re-worked, re-trusted (if that’s a word), and sent back out by the Master to keep on serving. Like Peter was. I’ve come to think he had to be one of the most grateful men that walked planet earth!

Are you ready? Let’s take a look at this man. Hopefully we’ll grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and give Him glory; now and forever.

(see 2 Peter 3.18 for the original)
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