Reflection on the Feast of the Confession of St. Peter
January 19 (transferred)
Psalm 66, 67; Ezekiel 3.4-11; Acts 10.34-44
The Church keeps a special feast day for the confession of St. Peter, for that wonderful moment when Jesus asks the disciples directly, “But who do YOU say that I am?” Not who do others say? Not who do the religious or governmental authorities say, or who do the opinion-shapers say that I am. “Who do YOU say that I am?”
It’s such a trope of sermons and devotions that I’m almost deaf to Jesus’ question, but inevitably it sneaks up on me again and again. What matters is who I believe Jesus is, and who I proclaim that Jesus is. That’s what matters more than anything else in my faith. Because once I have a commitment to who Jesus is, the other stuff – the kindness, the sacrifice, the service, the fellowship – start to make more sense.
Some folks come to their faith through their actions. The outreach they do, the music they make, the fellowship they enjoy sort of nudge them along until they’re ready to take seriously the central truth claims of our faith. Others start with those truth claims and wrestle with them until they’re sort of nudged into helping others, offering praise to God, and caring for their sisters and brothers in Christ.
Either way is fine. But these days, I have to start with the identity of Jesus and then go from there.