Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Matthew 16:21-28

Year A - Pentecost +12 or Community Practice 12
August 31, 2014

Remember to check out what went on before this text. That was the stimulus for this text and what is going on from there.

“God forbid it, Lord!” is one of those interesting lines for what it says and doesn’t say about the nature of G*D. It is as if Jesus got close enough to the disciples on a stormy sea and they were to exclaim, “Jesus Christ! Don’t scare us like that.” (If you remember, Jesus went on to say, “OK. I’ll scare you differently next time.”)

Well, here is a next time. Peter was scared enough, frightened enough, fearful enough, anxious enough, protective enough to want to hold Jesus close and rock him forever and ever (and, of course, be rocked by Jesus). [Note: there was no preconceived intention to play on the Peter/Rock connection, it was simply noticed as it came around.]

At the first scare Peter was invited on to the water, here Peter is dismissed. Make of it what you will.

This denial passage is not all it has been cracked up to be. It is not a penitential directive to get us to be reduced, but a reminder that our negative fear and our positive protectiveness, both, can keep us from paying attention to our work. A clearer way to say it would be, “Don’t deny the world your gift. Put everything else down and follow where it leads.”

I expect this jotting has taken at least one too many leaps. It would be appropriate to hope for better on the next posting.

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