Week of Hope…
Every morning that week, when the rooster started crowing, Peter woke up startled. The first thought piercing his brain was the memory of his awful words, “I don’t know the man.” Then the rooster crowed. Shame flooded him, still fresh and raw. He kept waking up with a shame hangover.
The second thought swimming into his foggy morning conscious was seeing Jesus. He saw him that Sunday morning, walking out of the garden, smiling. The nail prints were still in his hands, the hole in his side was still there. Peter thought he was hallucinating, but the voice was real. Jesus spoke words so holy, so full of grace, Peter could hardly take them in. He stood in the presence of pure light, pure love, pure forgiveness. It felt like being born again.
Jesus disappeared and Peter ran back to tell the other disciples, huddled together in fear. John and Mary were there; they had seen him too. As night fell, they were still trying to put the puzzle together. Cleopas and his friend burst into the room, telling how Jesus had appeared to them on the road to Emmaus. Was all this really happening?
Then Jesus himself came into the room. The same light, the same pure grace that Peter saw that morning poured from him. His words were gentle, “Don’t be afraid, it really is me.” Joy and worship mixed together in a holy recipe of hope.
Then he left.
Peter hardly slept that night. The next day, Monday, he half expected Jesus to jump out of a doorway and yell, “I’m still alive!” But he didn’t see Jesus that day. Or Tuesday. Or Wednesday.
He began to wonder if he made it all up, if it was a desperate hope creating a reality that wasn’t really there. But each morning, after the wave of shame, he remembered the details: the twinkle in Jesus’ eyes; the shouts of John and Mary; the grace that pierced his pain. It was real. He couldn’t have made it up. No one could make up that much hope.
So Peter would get out of bed, go find the rooster, and tell him, “There’s good news, rooster! Your shaming crow doesn’t work on me anymore. My Lord is risen.”
The rooster would cock his head as Peter walked off to face the morning, whistling grace from his reborn heart.
Grace always brings hope.