Second Sunday in Lent
Sometimes we experience displeasure and disappointment in response to an offensive object, person, or behavior: spoiled milk in the refrigerator, a roach in the kitchen, a bigot bragging at a local coffee shop, a swastika sprayed in the alley down from the church. Sometimes we disappoint someone, as Peter disappointed Jesus.
Jesus’ lesson offers to us vividly the cost of true discipleship. No one wants to hear the cost of ownership to be on Team Jesus. Team members may suffer, be rejected, and even die for the cause. Do I want to be on a team that demands so much effort and commitment? Peter vocalized what the other disciples stewed over. When Peter chastises Jesus for his comments, Jesus unloads. But all of us have been on the receiving end of a scolding.
I was a young student intern and had not prepared my Sunday school class lesson well. A member of the committee who hired me happened to pop into my classroom. When the class was over, this member of the Christian education committee told me he was disappointed in how ill prepared I seemed to be, and how this subpar performance was not acceptable. I had disappointed him. I had disappointed myself. I learned a valuable lesson about preparation, faith, and commitment that morning.
Jesus railed at Peter for his lack of faith and commitment—and insulted him with that phrase “Get behind me, Satan.”
When we disappoint Jesus and ourselves, we too must have our commitment challenged. God calls us to rise up now and again to lead and carry the cross of truth.
Disappointment may challenge our commitment, but God’s love will prevail.
Lord Jesus, may your righteous love rise up in us when we are challenged by blatant injustices in our world. Amen.
John Wallace, pastor, First Moravian Church, Dover, Ohio