On Sunday May 18th our minister Trevor led worship at our chapel. We began by singing ‘This is the day that the Lord has made.’ Then Trevor led the opening prayers before we sang again ‘He is Lord, He is risen from the dead and he is Lord’. We then sang, ‘I am a new creation’ which is one of my favourite hymns. The dramatised reading based on John 21v1-19 was then performed. I read the part of Jesus and it is a particular favourite passage of mine, when 3 times Jesus asks Peter if he loved him and 3 times he said that he did love him; in that way the threefold denial about knowing Jesus was put right and Jesus as it were re-instated him as his disciple and gave us all hope, that there is nothing which can put us beyond the forgiveness, love and acceptance of our Father in heaven, when we return to him, having let him down. When we take different roles in dramatised readings the passages always live more for me and I think it was good to hear the different voices; it emphasised the conversation between Jesus and Peter read by Christine our worship leader. We then sang ‘Hark my soul it is the Lord’.
Trevor our minister had compiled possible thoughts of Peter as he looked by on his time with Jesus and his reactions. Different members of the congregation read the extracts from the ‘diary’ with Trevor responding to each as if he were Peter and it was an extremely effective way of meditating on the gospel reading and fill in the past events. Peter thought back to his baptism by John, and with Andrew saw Jesus being pointed out to them by John. Andrew had followed Jesus and came back certain he was the expected Messiah, invited Peter to meet Jesus, when he too now called Simon Peter by Jesus and impressed him. The second extract was when Peter had recognized Jesus as the Messiah at Caesarea Philippi but went on to misunderstand the kind of Messiah Jesus was, when he could not accept that he would be put to death.
The third extract was the transfiguration when he wanted to hang onto the moment by building 3 tabernacles. The fourth extract was the washing of the feet when Peter initially had not wanted to have his feet washed but then understood. Extract five was when Peter did not understand why Jesus a young fit man would be talking about doing things in his memory, and yet he always seemed to be right and knew he would betray him. In Extract six Peter had attacked the soldiers and cut off an ear in his attempt to defend Jesus but he was stopped; it made him puzzled. In Extract seven Peter was afraid and denied he ever knew Jesus and felt terribly upset when he saw Jesus looking at him and recognised he had let him down. In Extract eight Peter felt so ashamed that he stood at a distance and felt it was all over when Jesus died saying it is finished and they could not go home straight away. In the final extract in his diary the women had just told them that Jesus’ body was not there, so he had run to the tomb with John who got there first; they had all met together to discuss what it all meant but locked the doors. Jesus came and their fear melted when he was with them again.
We then sang ‘May the mind of Christ my Saviour’ before Trevor led the intercessions, and the Lord’s Prayer. Our service concluded as we sang, ‘God’s Spirit is in my heart.’ I found this service inspiring and thoughtful. It is good that so many were involved in our worship service.