Poise. I’ve never been good at it. If I nail a half-court shot while playing basketball with my son, I’ll jump up and down screaming. If my favorite character on Homeland gets killed off, I’ll throw something at the television. But that’s nothing compared to the highs and lows of my faith. Out of the depths I’ll cry to the Lord one day, and the next I’ll sing God a new song. Sometimes I wonder: shouldn’t a follower of Jesus have more poise? Shouldn’t I have an unwavering faith that is solid, consistent and steadfast? But just when I think all hope is lost, I hear something like this Sunday’s Gospel, Mark 8:27-9:8.
In Mark, we experience the disciple Peter losing all control. Jesus tells Peter that Christ’s path requires suffering and death. But Peter can’t stand the thought of it. He grabs Jesus and pulls him aside. Can you imagine? Peter pulls Jesus aside?! Then, Jesus leads Peter up a mountain and is transfigured before him, Jesus’ robes gleaming white as he appears with Moses and Elijah. Not knowing what to say, Peter starts babbling about a building project. Where’s your composure, Peter? Where’s your poise?
I love it. There’s nothing solid, consistent or steadfast about Peter. He’s desperately trying to keep up. I know the feeling; do you?
This Sunday, we hear incredible words of grace. If we lose our cool trying to keep up with Jesus, it’s O.K. We’re in very good company. But even better than that: as we waver in our faith, Christ’s love for us is solid and steadfast! Christ lived, died and rose again for all – even Peter, you, and me! Feel free to jump up and down as much as you’d like…
See you Sunday!