June 30, 2008

Peter and Paul

Yesterday, the 29th, was the church calendar day for remembering both Peter and Paul. Every year I remember differing things about them.

Some years I've felt so empty that I remember Saul's lightening bolt experience of God and beg God for something similar for me, even if just a wimpy candlelight flicker of hope. Some years I've focused on Jesus' asking Peter three times, "Do you love Me?" - and remember God loves me first - me, as ME.

This year? First I thought how both had their names changed by God. God pursued them and renamed them.They butted heads with each other and challenged one another and this all was a part of the newness to come. Devout Jews, what does it mean to follow Jesus? What does this new community of believers mean, and what does it look like?

They were so different - Peter was a simple uneducated fisherman who probably had no knowledge of the theological debates of his time. He simply responded to Jesus in a direct, impulsive way. Paul was well educated, sharp, deeply concerned about truth, and willing to persecute those he considered in grave error.

The church is built upon the foundations laid by both Peter and Paul. Their togetherness on the same calendar day speaks to me of unity, of working together, even with all our differences of backgrounds, and varieties of strengths and weaknesses, and emotions and rational/reasonings.
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