January 17, 2020 by Jesse Lebus
St. Luke’s, friends and family:
Tomorrow, the church celebrates the Feast of the Confession of St. Peter. It’s a story well suited for the season after the Epiphany, even though it happens later in Jesus’ life, towards the end of the gospel narratives. Matthew, Mark and Luke describe a similar scene where Jesus asks his disciples who people say that he is. “And who do you say that I am?” He asks his own friends.
There must have been quite a pause, but finally Peter blurts out - in a rare instance of saying the right thing - “You’re the Messiah, the son of the living God.” From that very moment the answer became the only thing, the confession of Peter, the rock on which all faith rests. The question has become a distant memory.
That’s too bad though, because I think we’d do well to consider Jesus’ question as often as we consider Peter’s answer. Whenever Jesus asks his disciples a question, he asks it of us, and despite an amazing answer that seems to cover it all, it’s worth wondering: Who do I say Jesus is?
A healer, a comfort, the one who helps me see. A lord, a king, a servant, a friend. I suppose it depends on the day, how I might answer. Close your own eyes, imagine Jesus sitting near you, imagine him asking you, “Who do you say that I am?”
Honestly, if you’re anything like me you don’t actually say it out loud - to another person - all that much. In the season after the Epiphany, through song and scripture, we deepen our sense of who Jesus is to us; as a church and as individuals. But maybe Jesus is asking more from us this season. Maybe he’s also asking: “Who are you going to tell about me?” After all, epiphanies have to start somewhere, somehow.
It’s apparent that many of you are actually telling people about Jesus and the work that he’s doing here at St. Luke’s. New faces, returning faces, a busy Sunday School. We are a place of epiphany, a people in whom Christ is made manifest. We, too, are children of the living God. Don't hesitate to let people know!
Your brother in Christ,