2 Samuel 19:11-20:13; John 21:1-25; Psalm 120:1-7; Proverbs 16:16-17
“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, Son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to Him, “Yes Lord; you know that I love you.” “He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to Him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:15-17
No more fishing for Peter.
No more sheepish behavior from him.
Bold Peter who betrayal words chimed in with rooster crows and wrapped him in guilt and fear humbly answered Jesus’ questions three times. “Lord, you know I love you. I denied you…but even then I loved you…and I always will. I was weak. I rest my life in you who has power even over death! Fish no more? If you will it, Lord, may it be so!”
“Feed my sheep,” my people…take care of them, Peter, that they may grow in faith and follow me, their Good Shepherd. And know that I love you, too, Peter! On you I rest the mission to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
“And Peter–I will be with you always, to the end of the age, till you suffer and die to the glory of God.”
Lord God, you have called us to a new normal as believers and followers of your Son Jesus Christ. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we do as dearly beloved children with a mission to take your Gospel truth to the nations. Grant that we do so faithfully, whatever the cost. Please forgive us for those times when, because of our sinful weakness, we cower in fear and guilt for our failures. Please come to us with your forgiveness just as you went to Simon Peter. Thank you for continuing to serve us through Word and Sacrament! In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen!