Advent: Day 17

Each Advent, I commit to reading the daily lectionary, the Bible readings that prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christ’s coming. This year, I’m writing a brief reflection on these readings each weekday. It’s Advent, day seventeen.

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Readings: Isaiah 9:1-7; 2 Peter 1:12-21; Luke 22:54-69

Over the last few days, we’ve been following Jesus as he makes his way to the cross. In that, we’ve examined the disciples–Judas, Peter and the sleeping ones. Are we so much different? Aren’t we the betrayers? Aren’t we the deniers? Aren’t we Peter? See him follow Jesus into the courtyard of persecution. See him following, though, at a distance.

This is the story from the courtyard of Christ’s persecution:

About an hour later, someone else spoke up, really adamant: “He’s got to have been with him! He’s got ‘Galilean’ written all over him.”

Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” At that very moment, the last word hardly off his lips, a rooster crowed. Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter. Peter remembered what the Master had said to him: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried. (Luke 59-62, The Message)

Deny, deny, deny–this was the way of Peter at the trial of Jesus. I suppose I’ve been a denier, too. I suppose I’ll be one again. I’ve been drunk before; I’ll be drunk again. I’ve been asleep before; I’ll be asleep again. This is the human condition. We fall, and fall, and fall. Don’t we?

But there’s a beauty in the pairing of today’s readings. When they scheduled the lectionary readings for Advent, the church fathers didn’t let Peter twist in the wind of his denial. Instead, they juxtaposed Peter’s traitorous moment with the proof of his redemption. (Ain’t that a breath of fresh air?) The one-time denier was recreated by the affection of the resurrected Christ, and it was in this recreation Peter that stood as a living reminder. Read his words, written to the believers of his day and of all the days to come:

Therefore I intend to keep on reminding you of these things, though you know them already and are established in the truth that has come to you. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to refresh your memory, since I know that my death will come soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. (2 Peter 1:12-15)

Remember.

Remember.

Remember.

This is Peter’s clarion call–remember the truth; live as a reminder.

Remember.

Remember.

Remember.

It’s the seventeenth day of Advent. Are you preparing your heart for the return of the King? Are you living in remembrance of his eventual coming? Are you preparing to stand firm until his coming?

Remember.

Remember.

Remember.

 

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