Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference. Through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen. (Reinhold Neibuhr taken from PCC The Book of Common Worship)
St. Matthew 16: 21 – 28
Jesus begins to explain to the disciples that he must go to
and suffer, be killed, and rise again on the third day. Peter is upset that the Messiah would have to suffer and says to Jesus, “Impossible Master! That can never be!” What a shock Jesus’ words must be to Peter. After all, Peter has just declared that Jesus is the Messiah. And the Jerusalem understanding of Messiah was not of a Messiah that suffered. The Messiah of Israel would bring new life and joy to God’s chosen people. Israel
Jesus responds to Peter seems harsh. Jesus states that Peter is only looking at the human cost and not the will of God. With this thought in mind, Peter has become a stumbling block for Jesus. Peter is trying to keep Jesus away from harm but by doing so, Peter also keeps Jesus away from the will of God.
But we know the end of this story. We know that after the Crucifixion and Resurrection, Peter and the disciples finally understood the words of Jesus.
When we pray for healing or help from God, we use the words “may Your will be done”. As this story of Jesus and Peter illustrates, these five words are so important so that the work and will of God does not get blocked by our own wants and needs.
Prayer: This is another day, O God. I know not what it will bring forth but make me ready. If I am to stand, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie in bed, help me to do so patiently. If I am to walk, help me to walk with great joy. If I am to serve others, help me to do so with great delight. This I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen. (The PCC Book of Common Worship)