Yesterday at our family service we were asked to pray that we would be more like the Apostle Peter. AMEN to that, I am all for brutal honesty, boundless enthusiasm, and continual lash ups resulting in a total dependency on God.
Like any man there are elements of Peter in my makeup. Personally I am more biased towards a Thomas, Nathaniel personality. Arguably none of these disciples would have lasted more than a couple of days in a polite traditional C of E congregation before blowing their cover. In one of her sermons the Rev Lucy Winkett of St James Piccadilly makes a joke about Jesus being surrounded by men who 'didn't get it'. Absolutely but they did understand that they were Lost without him.
Jesus loves to look for the Lost and accept them as his. Another theme in our service was accepting the strange, the different, the diverse and unloved into our church. My bible reading on Sunday was from Luke 19 1-10 about Jesus inviting himself to Zacchaeus the tax collector's home, a man who was hated and loathed by the majority of society. In verse 10 Jesus says 'For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost' . The word 'lost' (Greek: apollymi`) that Jesus uses has a variety of very strong meanings:
'to put out of the way entirely, to be ruined, to be rendered useless, to be declared that we are being put to death, to be given over to eternal misery in hell, to perish to be lost, ruined, destroyed. '
Like Zaccheus we too are lost and need to be found. Honestly admitting our faults and turning from them to Jesus without any pretensions is a mark of a disciple. It's not that hard as it's very much a 'Love thing' . Who cannot love a Saviour who accepts the unloved without hesitation, condemnation or reservation?