Fresh Hope – 9th September 2019

Is there anything worse than walking into a room full of people that are all chatting away to each other, but when you arrive they all go silent?

They each look up simultaneously for a brief moment, and then go back to their conversations.

They said nothing, but to you they said everything.

Of course, there are lots of worse things than that, but we all have to admit that that’s a fairly difficult pill to swallow.

The thought that you are nothing more than an inconvenience or even an annoyance to everyone else’s perfect lives is pretty degrading and even damaging.

Now we’re not asking to be the centre of attention, because for some that could actually be just as bad as being ignored, but what we really crave is to be accepted for who we are.

We don’t expect to be a conversation stopper because we are so important, but we would like to be included and accepted in the conversation.

Life can be cruel and so can people.

Today, I would ask you to consider the name of just one person that not only accepts you, but acknowledges you and even wants you to be a vital part of his world – that one name is Jesus.

Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples had messed up big time.

After spending three years with Jesus, he then, when coming face to face with the crucifixion, decided to run; but not only run, he would leave a trail of denial and profanity in his tracks, as he turned on the only one that had been his closest friend.

As he hid from Jesus’ haunting words that had previously announced that he would deny him three times before the night was out, he wept and saw no possible way back.

Fast forward now to the day of the resurrection.

An angel announces that Jesus wants a meeting with his disciples in Galilee, but knew that Peter would no longer feel worthy of being included. (Too right, you say…after all, he really showed his true colours)

But that’s not how Jesus does life.

Instead of beating people down further, he lifts people up higher, yes, even after they treat him with utter contempt.

Look at the Angels invitation closely…

Mark 16:6-7 ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, “He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”’

The one that had made a right hash of things got a special mention on the invitation…and so do you.

Feeling dreadful that you haven’t lived up to the name Christian?

Lost faith?

Denied Jesus?

Bad language issues crept back in?

Anger problems?

Jesus says to you today…let’s meet. You are included in my plan.

Today if you only understand one thing, then understand that Jesus sees beyond our failings and includes us in his conversation.

Proverbs 16v24

…for though the righteous fall seven times, the Lord will lift him up.

Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.