Doxology Rockford Wednesday Morning Prayer Homily_1-18-2012

Doxology Rockford    Confession/St. Peter   Luke 5:1-11

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  AMEN.

When our Lord has His ministry, it is always about Him and His glory.

It is the observance of the Confession of St. Peter, and I freely admit that the confession of St. Peter you just heard was not the Confession of St. Peter you expected to hear.  You expected to hear Matt. 16, when Peter got it so gloriously right…only to get it so spectacularly wrong.  A lesson might be learned there.  Even when Jesus is the Son of God to us, we still fashion Him according to our sensibilities.  “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” might still be a little removed from salvation through a crucified Son of God.

So my little divergence from the assigned text for the day is not a careless, freestyling, disregard for the Church’s Lectionary.  The roots of Peter’s profound confession in Matt. 16 are planted in the ground of his remarkably humble confession of sins in Luke 5.  Today certainly is “The Confession of St. Peter” and it is not wrong for us to consider his first confession and its connection to his great confession.

You see, Peter is all about “you” and “me.”  No.  That’s not some sort of contrived way of saying we’re just like him, although this is true.  What I’m actually saying is something quite different.  With so many of Peter’s well known utterances, it’s interesting to watch his use of first person and second person personal pronouns.  For Peter, it’s all about his use of the words “I,” “me,” “my” and “you” and “your.”  He does it quite a lot…and therein lies the full force of his confessions, both of sin and of faith.

“You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” is a confession which was born on the day of our text, the day Jesus reeled in Peter and began making a fisher of men of him.  To paraphrase him just a little, his conversation with Jesus in Luke began as “Whatever you say,  MASTER, we’ll go fishing” and ended with “Go away from me, LORD, for I am a sinful man.”  All the pronouns match up rightly with the object to which they refer.  Peter’s you goes from being referred to as “master” to the more faithful title “Lord.”  Peter’s 1st person pronouns simply confess sin and a basic unworthiness to be in the presence of the divine YOU.

So how is that Peter’s personal pronouns can get so turned around at times?  On the boat in the fourth watch of the night, doubt crept in and caused Peter to go into the subjunctive voice, a voice Peter doesn’t live in comfortably.  “Lord, if it is you…”  When confessing Christ as Lord, the words “if” and “you” do not go together.  And when Jesus turns on the 2nd person He doesn’t use any pronouns.  I suppose it’s because It’s not about you.  It’s also quite withering.  “O little faithed ones!  Why did you doubt?”  Do you remember their confession?  “Truly you are the Son of God.”

When our Lord has his ministry, it’s always about Him and to His glory.  It is not about you and Peter demonstrates that all we can really say for ourselves is that we are sinful men, plagued with doubts, and given to recasting the Son of God in more worldly and faithless ways.  No, when Jesus is our Son of God, He is who He is.  He is the Son of God who goes to the cross and dies for Peter.  “This shall never happen to you” actually did happen to Him.  “I will certainly also die with you” most definitely did not.  Some things you and I can’t fathom, ergo these same things you and I can’t do.  The cross and the empty tomb being prime examples #1.  You, O Christ, are Lord.  You, O Christ, are the Son of the Living God.  I, O Lord, am a sinful man.  Peter preached, “You crucified Him who was Messiah and Lord.”

“Fear not” Jesus says to us today.  I am the Lord.  I am the Son of God.  I am the suffering Savior.  I am the Risen Christ.  Today I make of you my disciples, my freely forgiven people.  Peter preached, “Repent and be baptized, each and every one of you for the forgiveness of sins.  For the promise is for you and your children.”  But make no mistake about it.  He is for you…which means it’s really all about Him.  When our Lord has His ministry, it’s really all about Him and to His glory.  Thus, it is a Doxology.  AMEN.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  AMEN.


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