Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost — August 27, 2017
Who Are You?
“But who do you say that I am?” That question, asked by Jesus to his disciples more than two thousand years ago, is a question that Jesus still asks of all of us who claim to be his followers. “Who do you say that I am?”
When we gather together in worship, we attempt to answer that question by praying our liturgies and proclaiming that Jesus is “Lord, Savior, Son of the Living God, Christ, Lord of the Church, Bringer of Justice, Hope of the World.” When we join our voices together in songs of praise to “Immanuel, Our Church’s Elder Dear, Our Kind and Gracious Shepherd, King of Kings, Prince of Peace,” we are bathed in the words and music of our brothers and sisters as we sing out our understanding of who we perceive Jesus to be. As we speak, pray, sing, and listen, our hearts are opened to the boundless love and grace that God so abundantly pours out to us through Jesus Christ.
Simon Peter opened his heart to God’s love and grace and was able to tell Jesus, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” Upon hearing this confession, Jesus responded by telling Simon who he, Simon, really was in the eyes of God. He gave him a new name and a new identity. No longer would he simply be Simon the fisher-man. In God’s eyes, Simon was Peter, the rock on whom Jesus would build his church. Jesus revealed to Peter—and thus to us—the power and possibility for transformation that comes when we allow the words of our confessions of Jesus to shape every aspect of our lives.
Who do you say that Jesus is? Who does God say that you are? Be transformed by God’s love.
Sister Fran Saylor, Raleigh, North Carolina