Daily Worship

A prayer for kindling the fire, tending the flames, and clearing the ashes

Albert Bogle February 22, 2023 2 4
Image credit: Unsplash
Listen to this daily worship

Luke 22: 54-62 (NRSVA)

54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. 55 When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, ‘This man also was with him.’ 57 But he denied it, saying, ‘Woman, I do not know him.’ 58 A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, ‘You also are one of them.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I am not!’ 59 Then about an hour later yet another kept insisting, ‘Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.’ 60 But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you are talking about!’ At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.’ 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.

Today is known as Ash Wednesday. It’s a sobering day. It’s a day set aside in the church calendar at the beginning of Lent to remind us all that one day we will return to dust. Hence we need to live in such a way that we recognise our frailty and out finite existence on earth. The story we read in Luke’s Gospel today is quite a shocking yet revealing insight into human nature. It’s a story of denial and betrayal that points to a longing for redemption.

Peter stands around a fire which had been kindled by the soldiers who had arrested Jesus. There in the light of the fire he finds himself denying that he ever knew Jesus. He does it not once, but three times. And as the cock crows, Peter recalls the words of Jesus, “before the cock crows you will have denied me three times”. Luke records that Peter went out and wept bitterly. The weeping bitterly is a cry, a longing for redemption. A few days later Peter would find himself around another fire with Jesus being restored and forgiven.





As I clear out the wood burner

I think of the fire that drew Peter

The accusations the denials

The noise of the crowd

As speculation rises

In the distance

A cock crows

Love and regret


And bitter tears flow

A man bent over a fire is burned out


Here in this ash pan

Is my weight in ashes

But not my worth

A human life reduced to dust

Life that once was a kindling fire

Sparking ideas into being

Moving hearts to tears

Burnt out — no more — gone!

Gone where?

Moved from time into eternity


My destiny

My identity

My personhood




Thank you Father,

We are truly more than dust