Experiencing God after Failure

Meg Jenista

Read: John 21:15-19 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13) There’s Peter, around the campfire with his cohorts with freshly caught and cooked fish in their bellies. But for Peter, the weight of failure is sitting heavy too. Jesus called him “the rock,” but could anyone be more unsteady than he had proved to be? Three times Peter denied Jesus. Three times, Jesus made sure of Peter’s love. But perhaps …

Experiencing God at the Table

Meg Jenista

Read: Luke 24:13-35 They rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem . . . Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. (vv. 33, 35) They must have been devastated. Who knows what they had taken on or what they had left behind to follow Jesus? They had put all their eggs in this one basket. They had bet the farm on a dream. And …

Experiencing God in Telling Others

Meg Jenista

Read: Matthew 28:1-10 Do not be afraid . . . Come, see . . . go quickly and tell. (vv. 5-7) Earliest commentators on this text tell us that, through the women, the whole church—the “bride of Christ”—is present at the resurrection. As the angel speaks to the women, so the entire church is addressed. First, we are told: “Do not be afraid.” There is something legitimately frightening about the resurrection. The world is a wonky place when you can’t …

Yours Is the Kingdom, the Power, the Glory

Meg Jenista

Read: Luke 24:1-9 They were perplexed about this. (v. 4) I’m not the Easter Grinch but I do, sometimes, grouse about chicks and bunnies and Easter eggs. Pastels and fake grass and a mythical Easter bunny seem out of place alongside the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. But maybe I’m wrong. As New Testament scholar Tom Wright notes about Luke’s account of the first Easter, “The opening mood of Easter morning, then, is one of surprise, astonishment, fear and confusion” (Luke …

Deliver Us

Meg Jenista

Read: Luke 23:32-33, 39-46 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. (v. 32) The first asks, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” The first man wants a Savior on his own terms. A Savior who lets sin go without consequence, making life easier and happier. But the second criminal sees the truth: “We are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” The …

Forgive Us

Meg Jenista

Read: Luke 22:54-62 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. (v. 61) Trapped in a lie. Saying a cruel word with the victim standing within earshot. Who of us doesn’t know that flood of shame, the creep of embarrassment, the panicked hope that the floor might swallow us up rather than have to face up to our own unfaithfulness. I wonder how often Peter remembered that moment in the courtyard with Jesus’ eyes upon him. I wonder how often …