Peter, having denied his Lord

Jesus, my Lord,
my friend and my master, 
I can barely see 
through the tears that clog my eyes. 
Sorrow and shame in equal measure
fill me like an ague. 

I owe you everything. 
And you had faith in me
despite my many mistakes.
You called me a rock
yet under the first hint of pressure
I crumbled.

Like that unforgiving servant 
who was forgiven much, 
yet forgave little, 
I could not pay the debt that mattered, 
in the only way that mattered.

Failure and humiliation cloud my vision. 
Such proud words I spoke. 
“I will never desert you, though all the rest may do so!” 
And then … I was the first to fail …
to falter …
 to fall. 
I was the first.

I spoke in fear,
“I do not know him”
In fear of dying. 
And now?
Now…
would that I could die.
Peter, having denied his Lord

 

By David and Jane Denniston

Luke 22: 54-62

Peter disowns Jesus

Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant-girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, ‘This man was with him.’

But he denied it. ‘Woman, I don’t know him,’ he said.

A little later someone else saw him and said, ‘You also are one of them.’

‘Man, I am not!’ Peter replied.

About an hour later another asserted, ‘Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.’

Peter replied, ‘Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!’ Just as he was speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: ‘Before the cock crows today, you will disown me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly.

 
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