Have you ever really blown it? I mean you did or said something that so damaged a relationship that it still hasn’t recovered? Maybe you messed up so bad you’ve lost your connection in your family or community?
Yeah, me too.
If you are familiar with the apostles in the Good News, you might now about Peter. He was loud and brash; quick to speak and slow to listen. He seems to have been a leader in that he tends to get listed first among Jesus closest friends. Like the other disciples, he was given the ability to heal people and set people free from possession. He preached boldly and hundreds committed their lives to God. Eventually he would be imprisoned for his faith.
And yet, he blew it. Big time.
After Jesus had been captured and his trials had begun, Peter was being questioned about his relationship with Jesus. After denying he knows Jesus a couple times, he gets asked one more time and we’re told, “Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!””
Can you picture it? Peter spewing out cuss words and swearing on God’s name (super serious back then) that he doesn’t know his best friend Jesus, who is the Christ, the Son of God. You just know that word of this spread like wildfire among the other apostles. Can you imagine how he felt? Do you remember how you felt when you did something so bad you felt disqualified from everything?
But here’s the thing.
After the cross, on resurrection morning, the women coming to finish embalming Jesus, discover he has risen and they encounter an angel and the story goes like this:
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Mark 16:6-7 New International Version (NIV)
At a time when the disciples thought the hope of Jesus had ended in disaster, when they were scattered and afraid, they discover Jesus isn’t dead, the mission is still on, they are called to press forward and stay hopeful.
But did you catch it? The Good News in just two words?
To the one who had blown it, ran scared, and denied his best friend with angry curses, is still welcome at the table, still invited to be a part of the movement, and will still be used to turn the world upside with Good News; the Good News that despite his failures he was still loved and accepted, still valued and worthy.
And so are you.