11.03.13 Worship Confessional

Slide1“Peter’s confession is important in its own right. From it we learn who Jesus is: the Messiah. From it we learn who Peter is and will be: Peter is the one whom God inspires to publicly confess Jesus’ identity. Peter is therefore the one Jesus chooses to invest with unique authority in the movement that will come out of his ministry. It would be easier for us to stand on the outskirts of this scene, observing Peter’s reception of special status. But Peter’s confession is also ours. And so is his commissioning. We share Peter’s identity as flawed disciples who sometimes, in pressure situations, let Jesus down. We share in his identity as disciples forgiven and empowered by Jesus to face whatever trials and sufferings lie on the path ahead.” (Alyce McKenzie)

Yesterday we began a four week series called Rock Solid: Lessons from the Life of Peter. Fresh off the heels of a trip to Rome, I have been spending quite a bit of time reflecting upon the life of Peter and the impact that he has had on the church. During our gathering yesterday we explored Matthew 16:13-20 typically known as Peter’s Confession. While they are two big theological questions that the text raises – “what is the rock?” and “what are the keys to the kingdom?” – the focal point of the text is the person of Jesus. Through divine revelation Peter declared, “You are the Christ,  the Son of the Living God.” Right on, Peter, you are blessed. And yet moments later, confronted with the harsh reality that rather than reigning in earthly glory, Messiah would suffer and die, Peter was called out by his Lord as a tool of Satan.

I love how Frederick Buechner summarizes this significant episode:

“But if Peter was the only one Jesus ever gave a beatitude of his own to, he was also the only one he ever gave Hell to, at least in quite such a direct way. It happened not long afterwards. Jesus was saying that to be the Christ, the Son of the living God, wasn’t going to be a bed of roses all the way, and the time wasn’t far off when he’d suffer the tortures of the damned in Jerusalem and be killed. Peter couldn’t take it. “God forbid, Lord. This shall never happen,” he said, and that’s when Jesus lit into him. “Get behind me, Satan,” he said because the rock that Peter was at that point was blocking the grim road that Jesus knew he had to take whether he or Peter or anybody else wanted it that way or not because God wanted it that way, and that was that.”

  • What unrealistic expectations do you have of Jesus?
  • What does it mean for you to accept Jesus on his own terms?

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Open the Eyes of My Heart (Paul Baloche)
  • The Lord’s Prayer (Matt Shepherdson)
  • We Glorify Your Name (Hillsong)
  • Psalm 23 Liturgy
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message
  • Benediction (Matt Redman)

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

Today I am thrilled to be launching my Indiegogo site to help make my book, “A Movable Feast: Worship for the Other Six Days” a reality. I would be honored if you would consider partnering with me on this project. Please take a few minutes to check out the site.

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