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THE WHOLE STORY

The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday, August 30, 2023, was written by Andrew Gadd of England, United Kingdom



 

Scripture


66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, “You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I do not know or understand what you are talking about.” And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed. 69 And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know this man you are talking about.” 72 At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

Mark 14:66-72 NRSV

 

Author's Thoughts


I recently read the autobiagraphy of a now-departed saint, pastor, author, and international speaker. As I read, I was not only inspired by his successes but also impressed by his honesty about his failings. He acknowledged his many mistakes caused by inexperience, pride, or arrogance. Reviewing his life, he presented the bad as well as the good.

Peter denied Jesus three times despite having insisted that he would never do that. If I were Peter, I would have made sure that no one wrote down my failings. If I were to write the story of my life, it would be a sanitized, airbrushed masterpiece charting the highs of my association with Jesus and his ministry.

When people are honest about their fears and their failings, we can share in their journeys to a depth that is not possible if they present only the good parts of their lives. Vulnerability, sometimes considered a weakness, is actually a strength. Vulnerability is bravery. Authenticity is connection. I am immensely thankful that the Gospel writers captured the embarrassing failings of the desciples as well as their successes. In the Gospels we see the arguments, doubts, denials, and betrayals. In these accounts, we can see ourselves.

 

Pastor Anthony's Thoughts

Friends,

None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes and get things wrong. As people of faith, we are given the gift of repentence (admitting our errors and committing to do better) as a tool to help us seek forgiveness and offer it to others as well. Repentence is a mark of spiritual maturity, humility, and faithfulness. Yes, we make mistakes, but we are not the sum total of our mistakes.

 

Author's Prayer


Dear Lord Jesus, forgive our failings. Help us to be brave and vulnerable, strong and authentic, in your service. Amen.


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