Saturday, April 13, 2013

Another Lectionary Poem: - WHAT ABOUT HIM?

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?" 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about him?" 22 Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!" 23 So the rumor spread in the community that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?" (John 21:20-23, NRSV)


When Peter heard what would be happening                                        
   to him, as Christ foretold God’s holy plan,
he looked around and saw John following,
and said to Jesus, “What about this man?”

This had to be a negative comment,
according to the way Jesus replied.
It mirrored his competitive intent.
He spoke not out of love, but out of pride.

Said Jesus, “If it’s my will he remain
until I come again, what’s that to you?”
Why should the Son of God have to explain
        to Peter what was in store for John, too?

When Peter asked his question about John,
  he in a sense denied his Lord again.
He wasn’t challenged to choose pro or con.
What sort of a denial was it then?

There was in Peter’s question, first of all,
a criticism, unsaid but implied,
and that was a denial therewithal
of Jesus’ freedom such things to decide.

Christ’s goodness was denied by Peter, too,
for jealousy means one is discontent
with what one has, or what on has to do.
That Christ’s way is not good, is what is meant.

My envy of someone, therefore, implies
that God has not been good enough to me.
But to resent what someone has denies
God’s perfect love for all humanity.

In Peter’s question his resentment showed,
and that was a denial of Christ’s love.
Christ’s last word to him in this episode
      shows he knew what Peter was thinking of.

That Peter would deny his Lord this way
right after he’d professed three times his love,
reminds us we can’t do all that we say
without the help that comes from God above.

Like Peter we, too, have denied our Lord
by our fault-finding, pique, and jealousy.
But that he orders us be well assured
as he commanded Peter, “Follow me!”

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