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JOHN 21: After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples

and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep".

“O Peter, Peter, once you swam where you would through silent green darkness in and out of rotting keels among the stems lying in wait for your supper to enter your heart’s snare. Now you are trawled where you do not wish to go where you will be filleted in the bright morning sun for someone else’s breakfast. O Peter, Peter there may still be time run….. run!”

Jesus helped Peter undo all the damage

caused by his three denials of knowing Jesus

just when Jesus could have done with his support!

Peter is a bit like “Everyman”,

many of us can identify with him….

the way he could promise the earth in defending Jesus,

but when the chips were down,

then he didn’t really come up with the goods.

Peter’s eagerness to please Jesus soon evaporated;

his readiness with answers,

but not necessarily the right answers.

Not the first time Jesus got Peter out of trouble

Put yourself in Peter’s place…..

let Jesus be talking to you,

and challenging you

with His questions.

How will you answer Him?

In what particular way do you think Jesus will be asking YOU

to “tend His flock”,

to “Feed His sheep”?


“(Your Name), do you love me more than others do?” (Your Name), do you love me?”

(Your Name), do you love me?”

What thoughts come to your mind when Jesus challenges you to: -

“Care for my people,”

“Do justice in the world,”

and “Love my people”?

Do you believe that you can make a difference now?

What injustices do you feel called to address?

How can you best “Feed Jesus’ sheep?”

If the resurrection is going to work in 2020,

Jesus needs us to be active now as He has been

through the ministry of countless saints down the ages,

in simple and sincere ministries witnessing

to His living Presence since that first Easter.

His Presence is tangible in foodbanks,

in places where the need is greatest

in the places where there is most pain.

As in the first century, so now,

the most convincing proof of the resurrection

is when we live in a way that defies any explanation

other than the presence of the risen Christ within us.


Lord Christ, help us as you helped Peter

to have the courage and humility

to name our burdens and lay them down,

so that we are light to walk upon the water

to where you beckon us.

Lord Christ, help us as you helped Peter

to overcome our pride, armouring us, hardening us,

making us defend our dignity

by belittling others.

…We name it and we lay it down.

Lord Christ, help us as you helped Peter

to overcome the memory of hurts and insults,

which can drive us to lash out, to strike back.

…We name it and we lay it down.

Lord Christ, help us as you helped Peter

to overcome our antagonism against those

whose actions, differences, presence,

threaten our comfort or security.

…We name it and we lay it down.

We do not need these burdens,

but we have grown used to carrying them,

and have forgotten what it is like to be light.

Beckon us to lightness of being,

for you show us it is not unbearable.

Only so can we close the distance

Only so can we walk upon the water.

Blessed are you, Lord Christ,

who makes heavy burdens light.

Kathy Galloway (Iona Community) & PHNC

O Lord, in all the hazards of life, grant us courage

which stands not in the strength of the arm,

but in the stay of a good conscience.

Be near to us when we are afraid;

teach us when we should speak,

and when we should be silent;

when we must do, and when we must forbear;

in all time of our temptation, danger and difficulty,

let us not fall from you, who never fail them that trust your care,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

W. Charter Piggott

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