Today’s Lectio Divina: Luke 22: 31-34 (MsgB)
“Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from Me, like chaff from wheat. Simon, I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.” Peter said, “Master, I’m ready for anything with You. I’d go to jail for You. I’d die for You!” Jesus said, “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, Peter, but before the rooster crows you will have three times denied that you know Me.”
Being a musician from the state of Iowa, (I was trained at the University of Iowa to be a band director) one of my musical heroes is Meredith Willson.
Meredith was born in Mason City, Iowa in 1902, growing up to be an accomplished composer/musician of world renown. His best-known work is his Broadway musical smash, The Music Man, a heart-warming tale of a slick traveling salesman who gets his foot stuck in the door as he’s peddling band instruments to the fine unsuspecting residents of River City, Iowa. Many don’t realize that Willson had an exciting musical career prior to writing and composing his Broadway hit in 1957. From the 1920’s through the early 1950’s Willson’s resume included traveling several seasons as a piccolo player in the famed John Philips Sousa band, and sitting as first chair flutist with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
Meredith later moved on to San Francisco where he eventually became the musical director and head arranger for NBC just as radio was becoming the primary medium of entertainment in America. I mention this story because Meredith Willson wrote a hilarious biographical book back in the 1950’s entitled Eggs I Have Laid. It was an enjoyable trek of Willson’s life up to that point of his career, recounting hundreds of times when he put his foot in his mouth, surviving a variety of highly embarrassing moments, as this piccolo player-turned-arranger/composer from Iowa hob-knobbed with the elite of New York City, San Francisco, and Hollywood.
I often find myself being quite envious of the first-century disciples. Hob-knobbing with Jesus. Walking with Jesus. Talking with Jesus. Enjoying casual mealtime discussions with Jesus. Having intense theological discussions with Jesus.
Nice stuff that we twenty-first-century disciples just don’t have available to us.
Yet while there is much to be envious of when looking at the intimate relationships Peter, James, John and the other men and women had with the Son of God, the down side is that these same guys and gals have their embarrassing mistakes and failures written down in the Holy Book of God, sealed forever for the world to read and review!
Just think of it.
Your words and deeds recorded in eternity so that everyone who comes after you can point and stare at the stupidity and complete goofiness you displayed when you were with Jesus of Nazareth, God’s Redeeming Messiah.
Talk about Eggs I Have Laid!
One fairly rotten egg selected from a shelf of egg cartons is our story today that portrays Simon Peter in ways I’m sure embarrasses him to this very day. Can you imagine Peter, sitting up there in heaven for two thousand years now and being able to see every generation reading about his personal pride and his utter failures?
How embarrassing. How humiliating. How very human.
Even though I’m sure Peter might not agree with me, I’m so thankful that the Bible records these embarrassing eggs that God’s people have laid over the years. As I see it, this makes my Christianity real and truly accessible when I find that God doesn’t discount or discredit us just because we are goofballs at times with our fair share of frailties and failures.
While I know you’re probably pretty embarrassed by some of these eggs you laid, thank goodness you are just another great example of all God can do in redeeming the lives of us frail and fractured folks down here on planet earth.
My prayer: Lord, I’m amazed at the way You lovingly respond to us even when we are full of ourselves, believing that we are nearly incapable of error. Like in Peter’s case, I thank You that You are praying for us, overseeing our lives and guiding our paths even when we don’t think we need it. May I learn from Peter’s experience and humbly accept my weaknesses, for Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: So what eggs have I laid over the years? Where have I been guilty of believing, like Peter, that I’m untouchable or without weaknesses? How do I respond when Jesus comes to correct me in areas such as this?
So, what are you experiencing today as we are journeying through this Lenten Adventure?
Over a 48-day period (from Ash Wednesday through the Monday after Easter), you and I will be taking a deeper look at the stories surrounding the life and ministry of Jesus (especially the last week known as Holy Week) as recorded in the Gospel of Luke. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Our Lenten Journey home page for ease of use.
If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others!