Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Go away

Morning Prayer: Luke 5:1-11

‘Simon Peter...fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” ... When they had brought their boats ashore, they left everything and followed him.’

Peter’s self-awareness as a sinful man is – in this context, at least – not to do with what he has done but what he has failed to do. Fishing all night without a catch, he has failed those who were dependent on him. This is only emphasised by Jesus’ grace, in the miraculous catch of fish.

But it does not end there. Jesus does, indeed, go away from him. Not abandoning him, but enabling him to follow. To move from the place of failure, through the forgiveness that disempowers fear, to a fresh start within restored relationship. (‘Leaving everything’ ought not to be understood as the abandonment of relational responsibility – Jesus strongly opposed such false piety – but as participating in this dynamic.)

Where do you and I need Jesus to go away from us today, that we might follow?

Lord, join me in the place of my failure,
of my frustration, of my disappointment.
Lord, join me in the place where
the Accuser whispers seeds of discouragement
and shouts out taunts against my vocation to
personhood.
Join me in that place;
and then Go away from me, Lord,
that I might follow you...

A prayer, after the prayer of Simon Peter.


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