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“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.”
Keys to the Kingdom
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In this week’s Gospel, we hear Peter receive an unexpected blessing. Jesus tells him “you are Peter, and upon you I will build my church.”
What did Peter do to deserve such a thing?
Have perfect faith?
Say the right thing?
Believe the right stuff?
Peter goes on to stumble and make mistakes and falter quite a bit, even when it matters the most.
So if it’s not what he believes or how he responds that garners this blessing – what is Jesus getting at here?
Jesus asks his disciples the question – “Who do you say I am?” and Peter is the one who responds. He doesn’t know if it’s right, or if what he’s saying is true, but it’s been his experience to this point, so he says: You are the Son of the Living God.
And Jesus tells Peter that the church is going to be built on him.
I think Jesus isn’t rewarding Peter for what he says here, but telling the disciples, and us, what the church is going to look like going forward.
It’s going to falter and mess up but what’s important is that it speaks up.
Peter speaks up. Peter doesn’t stay quiet about who Jesus is and what God is up to through him.
We can’t either.
We are beloved, we are blessed, and we have been given a voice to use on behalf of others. Jesus is trusting us to continue to build the church that started with Peter’s fumbling but bold response.
Who do you say I am?
It’s our turn to answer.
Questions for Discussion
Step out this week. When you see something that is love and kindness in the world, make note of it, point it out, and call attention to it.
When you see the opposite, call it out too – be clear about what is God in the world and what is not. We are how God continues to build God’s church in the world. Let’s get to work.
Hurricane Harvey Relief: By now you’ve seen pictures of the devastation in Texas from Hurricane Harvey. There are a lot of places asking for donations, but very few give 100% of your donation to Harvey relief only.
ELCA Disaster Response was already there before it hit, and will be there long after the rain and flooding stop. Please consider a gift to help those in need today.