Thursday, December 04, 2008

Waiting outside the door

Today’s Reading: John 18:15-16a (NIV)

15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door.

Good morning!

I enjoy watching my grandchildren learn about different geometrical shapes. One of Granny Deb’s favorite toys is Fisher Price’s Baby’s First Blocks shape sorter cube. On the plastic lid, there are cutouts of various geometric shapes: a square, circle, triangle, rectangle, and oval. Inside the cube are wooden block cutouts in the exact same shape and size. The objective is to find the block that matches the shape on the lid, slipping it into the container. Our grandchildren would sit for long periods of time, trying to figure out why they cannot seem to push a square block through a round hole.

Have you ever felt as if you were the square block, trying to squeeze through a round hole?

While we share a lot of common ground, every human heart has a specific set of identifiers that sets us apart as individuals. We have a name; and it is unique to each of us. We are sometimes classified by our physical attributes; whether we are short or tall, fair or dark skinned, and even our age range places us in specific categories and groupings. We are often recognized by our beliefs and philosophies, the things we say and do, and the way we choose to live out our days. In Missouri, we are culturally categorized by where we graduated from high school, a unique identifier of Midwestern culture. What are some individual attributes that set you apart from the world around you?

Jesus had been arrested and Peter, along with another disciple, presumably John, followed the Lord to the high priest’s courtyard. The unnamed disciple was recognized by the girl on duty, and she let him into the courtyard. Peter got stuck outside the door. The guard did not know who he was.

Sometimes anonymity seems preferable. We look to fade into the faces of the crowd, unrecognized by the ones who may judge us harshly for who we are. We don’t often seem to fit the stereotypical, theological shape that our culture longs to embrace. We stick out like a square peg, trying to slip through a round hole. My grandchildren would tell you that the shape doesn’t fit.

Once Peter was identified as a follower of Christ, he received admission into the high priest’s courtyard. This unwelcome recognition came at a cost to Peter and all who knew him. He wasn’t so sure he wanted everyone to know who he was and whose he was.

Are you waiting outside the doors of faith, hoping someone will recognize you and let you in?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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