May 2012


One of the biblical characters that fascinates me is Peter. One moment he’s proclaiming a deep-seated truth ‘You are the Christ!’ and a few moments later telling Jesus he should shut up about his suffering and death as its bad for public relations. One moment Peter proclaims he is willing to die for Jesus, and a few hours later he denies he even knew the man. I don’t know if Peter was fickle but he wasn’t exactly consistent. One thing he was though, was enthusiastic. With Peter you don’t get any half measures or half-hearted assertions. Even during Jesus’ ministry he was obviously a leader, but you couldn’t be confident where he was leading. He’s up front, in your face and you know exactly where he stands, even if he stood somewhere else a short time later!

One of the pivotal events in Peter’s life was the day of Pentecost, the so-called birthday of the church. It was a day when he experienced a transformation that enabled him to become what he always had the potential to be, a true leader. Consistent and confident.

When you read the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, you know that Luke, the author of Acts, is struggling to describe the events. How do you portray a unique experience? What ever happened and however it is described, one of the results is that Peter moves from an inconstant character to the key leader in the early church. He continues to be open to the Spirit’s moving and we see an exponential growth in the early church.

I wonder if both you and I can learn form Peter’s experience.
He waited and prayed with the other disciples.
He was ready and open to experience God in a new way.
Peter then stayed open to what God was trying to do throughout the rest of his life.

I wonder, as we come to remembering the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday at the end of May that we can follow Peter’s example. To wait & pray. To be ready and open to God. And to remain open to what God is doing around us and through us.

May you experience God’s Spirit anew at Pentecost.

May 2012