When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” – John 21:15
Have you ever knocked on someone’s door and hoped they wouldn’t answer? Or called someone and prayed they wouldn’t pick up? Maybe that’s why we like email and texting. We can communicate and hide at the same time.
A pastor colleague once led adult Bible study on John’s Easter story. They came to the part where a beloved disciple and Peter race to the tomb. The more aerobically fit beloved disciple arrives first, but lingers just outside the tomb, while Peter charges inside. “Then” the gospel says, “the disciples returned to their homes” (Jn 20:10).
The pastor asked the folks in her Bible study, “Why do you think Peter, after making this amazing discovery of the empty tomb, just…went home?”
One person said with a grin, “He went home to hide from Jesus!”
Peter had good reason to hide. If Jesus was dead, all Peter had to face was his guilt for being a disaster of a disciple, If Jesus was alive, Peter had to face Jesus.
Hiding from God isn’t a great strategy. For one thing, it’s impossible to hide from one who transcends time and space. For another, Jesus isn’t into shame and vengeance. Instead, Jesus wants to prevent us from drowning in shame by giving us something better to do: feeding, tending and serving.
You are more than your worst mistake or biggest failure. Today, Jesus stands at the door and knocks. He stands on the shores of your life and invites you to breakfast because he has something good and beautiful for you to do.
Don’t run. Don’t hide. Don’t refuse the invitation to be fed and healed by grace.
Risen Lord, thank you for loving me into loving myself by doing acts of love in your name. Amen.
Matt Laney is a United Church of Christ minister and the author of breakout The Pride Wars fantasy series published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for young readers ages 8-12. The first book, The Spinner Prince, will be available in April, 2018.