Friday 11 November 2011

Bible Book:

"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church." (v. 18)

Matthew 16:13-20 Friday 11 November 2011


It took a long time for Simon Peter to get to this point. Itbegan when he was a boy, being brought up in a Jewish communitylearning the stories and traditions, and, sharing in the festivalsand the worship. Then, in adulthood, he made an impulsive but keydecision to follow Jesus. He left his nets and his business behind(Matthew 4:18-20) and started to learn from awise sage, maybe even a prophet. In those few short years hewitnessed so much more; he saw and heard things that blew his mindand now he was in a different place.

Shaped and formed by the stories of his community; the decision tofollow Jesus; the witnessing of wondrous things; the hearing of adifferent kind of teaching - these were the paths that led SimonPeter to this moment. Now, even if he was yet to fully realise whatit meant, he could declare "You are the Messiah, the Son of theliving God" (v. 16).

And, we are told that he will be the rock on which the church isbuilt. In Greek (the language the Gospel was written in) the wordfor stone is 'petra' and the word for Peter is 'Petros'. In Aramaic(the language the disciples probably spoke) the word 'kepha' meansboth Peter and stone.

In a moment of poetry Matthew wants every reader to know that SimonPeter, the one who has journeyed to this point of faith will bepivotal in the shaping and forming of a new community.

And so, built upon Peter's example, the Church is shaped by thestories it tells, its desire to follow Jesus, its witnessing ofextraordinary things and its capacity to hear a different kind ofteaching.

Perhaps if the Church can remain true to that calling ... a newworld may emerge.

To Ponder

What stories does your church tell? To whatextent does it tell the story of a church in the past? Or a churchwith a past?

What amazing things have you witnessed? And whatdo you want to tell others about them?

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