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Communion 2010

A Fireside Tale

Originally scheduled for May 23, 2010

It is well known to readers of the New Testament that John’s Gospel was written well after the other three.  There are some interesting differences in it, and it is not too far a stretch to say that John has been selective in his history.  Consider the incident of Peter’s denial of Christ.

First, we find out that Peter is in the courtyard of the high priest because John did him a favor.  John was evidently known to the household; Peter was not.  It was a cold night; there was a fire; but it was for “members only.”  John vouched for Peter – and at the gate Peter denied his Lord.  We don’t know if John felt somewhat responsible for that.  But we do know this:  John does not record the fact that Peter broke down and wept after the third denial.  But he alone records Christ’s restoration of Peter by the lake.

At the lake, after the Resurrection, it is John who recognizes Jesus first – and Peter who jumps in to go to him.  Curiously, Jesus is standing by a fire.  Is that just a coincidence?  We do not know; but we know this:  John’s account of Peter is centered not on the denial but the restoration.  The Apostle of Love sees the redemption as far more important than the sin.

So does the Lord of Love.  Of all the events in his life, only his death is celebrated regularly.  It is the supreme example of his love for his disciples.  Note, then, that it is focused on our redemption, not our sin.  We do not memorialize our sins but his sacrifice.

As you partake today, remember that He cares so much for you that even your guilt does not keep you from him.  His love is greater than your sin.  His love is worthy of our remembrance, for in it he washes our sins away.  Remember the sacrifice; it alone cleans out our sin.  Mercy triumphs over judgment!

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