Remembering Kofi Annan…Take Up Your Cross
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21 June 2020
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I would like you to indulge me…and imagine with me that we’re back in world-cup times…and specifically to the game between France and Croatia. Imagine that the Disciples are all gathered in Peter’s sitting-room to watch this game…its halftime and they’re eating, drinking, talking about the good old Jesus days, laughing, teasing each other, and keenly observing the apparently budding relationship between Macron and the Croatian President (Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović).

Then Luke says, “Do you guys remember the day Peter rebuked Jesus for saying He’s going to die, and Jesus got upset and blasted him saying, “Get behind me Satan?”

…they all laugh…

Then John says to Peter, “…But Peter, in all seriousness, what exactly were you thinking…why did you rebuke our Lord?”

And Peter says, “You know, I just didn’t like the idea of suffering and dying…I couldn’t understand it…that was not what we signed up for. Jesus was supposed to be the Messiah…to save all of Israel…so how could He be the Messiah if He was dead.”

The room falls silent…and they begin to realize that what Peter said that day to rebuke the Lord…was actually what they were all thinking, but had been too afraid to say…

…and in fact what Peter did that day…rebuking the Lord…is something that you and I have often thought to do…and in some cases have actually done.

Because the fact of the matter is, when somebody’s vision begins to conflict with who we are, and even go so far as to try and overtake our own vision of ourselves and our situation…we feel the need rebuke that person…we find it necessary to take them aside… enlighten them…show them the folly of their ways…and that is what Peter did…except in His case…that somebody was God Himself.

But if we are honest with ourselves, we too, often disagree with the Lord…because He doesn’t do what we want…because He doesn’t see the world the way we see it…after all

  • If He could heal Peter’s mother-in-law why won’t He heal those we love?
  • If He could make the paralytic walk why are so many peple crippled by disease and fear, and dementia, and addiction?
  • If He could calm the seas…surely He can calm the storms of our world…but instead there is so much violence & war & poverty.
  • If he could keep Jairus’ daughter from dying why not our own children…our friends…why does He allow our loved ones to die?
  • If he could feed 5000 with a few pieces of bread and fish why do so many people in the world…especially children go to bed hungry?!!???

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I would like you to indulge me…and imagine with me that we’re back in world-cup times…and specifically to the game between France and Croatia. Imagine

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