Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
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What Peter and those first disciples had must have been exhilarating. What an adrenaline rush every day to be walking from village to village without more deeper responsibilities than listening, learning, perhaps arranging for lodging and a meal. What a luxury to be a sponge to soak up the presence of Jesus! But when Jesus got transparent about what was ahead, Peter balked. Jesus had purposes that were much bigger and wide-reaching that their little band of merry men and women. As much as I envy those who experience community as a band of brothers or sisters, I am keenly aware of the fluidity of our existence. How quickly it slips through our fingers. Quite simply, how short life truly is. When we move from a place of safety to life of uncertainty, it is understandable to want to pull away from the abyss of change. I am no better at it than Peter. I would have been soundly rebuked at wanting to keep things as they were. The words that Jesus would rise again did not seem to register with Peter at the time. I wonder when they finally sunk in? I wonder sometimes when it will finally sink in for us.
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Spirit, grant us courage and hope for the living of these days. Amen.