Reflection on The Lectionary

Sunday 1st May (Easter 3)
Psalm 30, 14-24; Acts 9 : 1 – 6 (7 -20); Revelation 5 : 11– 14; John 21 : 1 – 19
This reflection is provided by Local Preacher and Circuit Steward, Christine Jones.
John chapter 21
There are times when just saying the word ‘sorry’ doesn’t seem to be enough; times when
we’ve messed up so badly; times when we’ve hurt someone so deeply; times when the
opportunity to apologise has passed or was never there.
That’s how Peter felt. When he realised the enormity of what he’d done, by denying three
times that he knew Jesus, he went out and wept bitterly [Luke 22:62]. But it was too late
and there was no opportunity to say ‘sorry.’ We don’t know how miserably Peter spent the
rest of that night or the next two days. We don’t know if he was among those who stood at
a distance watching [Luke 23:49] Jesus die. All we know is that, unlike Judas, he didn’t kill
himself in his despair.
We do know that on Easter morning when the women returned from the empty tomb with
the idle tale that Jesus was alive [Luke 24:11], Peter ran to the tomb to see for himself and
came back amazed. But there was no opportunity to say ‘sorry’. Nor was there that evening
when Jesus appeared and all the others were milling round [John 20:20]; nor the following
week when the focus was on Thomas [John 20:27].
Peter was still left with his festering guilt. Emotionally if not physically ‘locked for fear’ [John
20:19]. The old close relationship had gone for ever. It was too late to say ‘sorry’. Then the
fishing trip and breakfast on the beach. While the others were busy counting the fish, Jesus
took Peter aside and gave him the opportunity he desperately needed, not merely to say
‘sorry’, but to say how much he loved Jesus. His guilt was gone; his fear was gone; it was the
start of a new and lasting relationship with a new vocation, not merely fishing for people
but shepherding them.
Jesus is reaching out to you with the opportunity to say ‘sorry’ for anything that is locking
you in fear. Your guilt doesn’t need to fester. He is ready and eager to forgive you. What’s
more he has a fresh vocation for you. He says to you ‘follow me’ [John 21:19, 22].
Lord Jesus, remind me again that there is nothing I can do which will make you love me any
less; and there is nothing I can do which will make you love me anymore. I am truly sorry for
the past. I do love you. Please forgive me and help me to make a fresh start. Show me your
will for the next stage in my life and help me to follow you. Amen.