PETER - "ROCKY"?
A short reflection, as from Peter's perspective
on the night Jesus was betrayed by Judas and denied by Peter.
Peter: Last night, it all began so happily.
We were in the Upper Room to celebrate the Passover together,
with you, the head of our family,
asking the question – “Why is this night different to all other nights?”
I asked those Passover questions when I was little;
There was laughter, and fun, and games –
How I enjoyed “Hunt the Afikomen”….
and laughed as the adults became unsteadily drunk
as one cup of wine followed another,
and they pretended to me that Elijah had been,
finished that cup, and gone!
They laughed lots when they told me that……
I've always loved Passover night.
It started off fine last night….
except you got John to ask those questions..
why didn’t you ask me?
You started to worry me…..
washing hands, yes – we do that every Passover,
but washing feet as well?
That’s servants work – and we don’t have servants!
That’s not your place! That was worrying!
That’s why they walk all over you!
That’s why they took you away!
…..and then all that stuff over the Matzos?
I was expecting to hear the Haggadah, the story of the Exodus,
but you started on about Matzos,
fragile Matzot unleavened being your Body, BROKEN!
……….and here you are now – broken……………
What was going on between you and Judas?
When you dipped the Matzot into the bitter herbs
and offered it to him;
What did you say to him?
Whatever it was, he went!
And he went to betray you, and you knew!
You knew it all along!
If I’d known what he planned,
I would have stopped him. - by force.
How he could do it?
How could he let you down?
I'm angry, so very, very angry, with him.
But then you carried on at me, Peter, who was ready to defend you….
You turned to me, you picked me out,
"Simon," you said, …..and it's just occurred to me, why didn't you call me Peter then?
Twice you called me Simon…….
"Simon, Satan has desired to sift you all as wheat,
but I have prayed for you, Simon,
to strengthen your brothers once you have turned back."
I replied, - and this is what I said, the actual words -
"I am ready to go with you to PRISON, and to death!”
… and I meant it, I really meant it.
That's laughable now, isn't it?
But you carried on at me,
"This very night, before the cock crows,
you will disown me three times."
You knew, you knew.
But I still blundered on.
"Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you."
Three times! - just as you had said.
…just to save my own skin –
just for a cowardly moment, I couldn’t bring myself to say……..
The third time, even as I was speaking, the cock crowed.
You turned and looked at me.
I was too far away for you to have heard what I’d said,
and yet, you knew.
Never have you looked at me like that. Not with anger;
At first, I thought it was dismay - but it was pity; not for yourself, but for me.
I was PATHETIC,
and I’m angry with the “Holier than thou” Pharisees; I’m livid with Judas.
I’m angry with you ….. but I’m angry with me most of all.
I’ve let myself down.
I’ve let YOU down.