Thursday, 29 March 2018

Peter's Confession

The last time I spoke to you I said,
“How could you?
“How could you possibly suggest that I could pretend I don’t know you?”
...because you know me…

You know me.
You know I say things I don’t mean
and mean things I don’t say.
All of my enthusiasm gets in the way. 

I am full of impulse, excitement...regret.
My words get tangled like an old fishing net.
You know me, but I am prone to forget who I am. 

I am…
“Who do you say that I am?” You asked.
I remember that. 

We were in the villages around Caesarea Philippi.
We’d gone out to get away from all the people
The crowds who came to you and called to you.
They called you a prophet, back from the dead,
Elijah, Jeremiah, John bar Zechariah. 

But I knew that wasn’t quite true.
I knew you.
You were Jesus bar Joseph, Mary’s son.
A well trained carpenter
A well read Rabbi
A good for nothing Galilean with God on your side.

I knew exactly who you were
and where you were from

yet I knew there was something
inexplicable and mysterious about you.

I was with you when thousands of hungry people were fed on next to nothing.
When men who were deaf, mute and blind were made whole.
When a woman, a Grecian at that, begged you to heal her daughter, and you did.
When the water, the water I know so well, yet never understand,
became your walkway a firm ground beneath your feet.

….‘Who do you say that I am?’
You are the Christ, the son of the Living God.

See, I knew you.
You were the long awaited Messiah.
The one who would rescue us and restore Israel.  
I knew you.
I knew exactly who you were and what you would do.
I was to go with you - even if it meant I would be put in prison or put to death.
Nothing would stop me because nothing would stop you.
I knew!
At least I thought I did.

I don’t know anything any more.
I felt that for the first time when I entered the High Priest's courtyard
and sat on the floor.
She saw me there, the servant girl.
I sat by the firelight - desperate for the flames to draw out the darkness in me
and bring warmth to my cold and weary bones.
Believe me, I’d been cold before, but never like this.
She came close.
She read and remembered my face.
‘This man was with him,’ she announced.
I floundered like a fish in the sand, seeking a hiding place,
Back, back, back to the dark, to the depths.   
‘Woman, I don’t know him.’ I stammered.  
‘I don’t know him.
I don’t know him!’
…not any more.
I don’t recognise you any more. 

Willingly, you’d allowed them to arrest you
and carry you off like a common criminal.  
You didn’t hold your ground or put up a fight
like I thought you would,
like I thought you should.
You mustn’t be the Messiah, not really.
I must have been wrong.
You weren’t chosen by God, just cursed.
Forsaken, like the rest of us.
The forgotten children of Israel.
Disgraced and dispossessed.
I fled, as the darkness gave way to the morning light.
The rooster crowed and filled me with fright.
You were right.
You know me. 

No comments:

Post a Comment