As we celebrate our Patron Saint Peter, I would like us to reflect on one aspect of his life that I am sure many of us would identify with – learning from his failure. If we are to examine our lives with sincerity, we will realize that we have, on our journey with the Lord made several mistakes, some unintentionally but some deliberately. On some occasions, we have acted
selfishly and proudly, we have often disobeyed God’s commands even when we knew the truth, we have told the so called white lies, we have cheated others and cheated exams, we have grabbed land and defrauded, we have sometimes hidden our Christian identity, and the list goes on! But from Apostle Peter’s example, we know that we can all learn from our past mistakes, if we choose to and can turn around and lead more responsible, sincere and godly lives.
No New Testament (NT) leader realized more deeply his own fallibility than the apostle Peter. At the moment of truth, Peter, – the same one who stepped out of a boat to walk on water when Jesus invited him (Matt. 14:27 – 30); the same one who identified Jesus as the Christ (Matt. 16:13 – 20): the same one who witnessed the transfiguration (Matt. 17:1 – 8) miserably failed his Lord, denying Him three times on the night of His arrest.
Yet this man, in the face of incredible persecution and opposition, got up off the ground to do incredible things for Christ’s church. Not only did Peter provide leadership to the early church, He also wrote to the Jewish Christians enduring intense persecution for their faith, encouraging them to persevere through their suffering by remembering that their reward awaits them. This is not the same brash, impetuous, emotional Peter who traveled with Jesus during His earthly ministry. This is a Peter who matured in his faith, a man who has learned from his failures – and who, most of all, has been filled with the Holy Spirit of God. Effective leaders walk by the power of the Holy Spirit. They realize that all of us – even those with the best of intentions – are prone to fail when we walk in our own strength and not in the empowerment of the Spirit.
Fellow believers, and especially fathers, what lessons do we draw from Peter’s life and what are we choosing to do differently, relying on the Holy Spirit? Are there any things in our lives that we would like to bring to the Lord in repentance? Now is the time to make an about – turn, while life still endures! Stay blessed.
The Very Rev. Canon Micheal Mukhwana