Did you doubt Peter as you gazed at the gory crosses?
Did you seek God in the moment of your terror and trial?
Did you ask and find as He did that God was absent from
the darkness of that pivotal day of death’s destruction?
Was God with you on the wind whipped lake of Galilee?
Did you look at Him as he called to the primeval tones of
nature to its peace, and think God was missing but that
this amazing man of multiple means was come instead?
As He touched the mutilated lepers for what sign were
you hoping? When He broke the laws and put his own
hands onto the corpse or called forth Lazarus from the
dead were you praising God or was it a miracle man?
As you shared out the bread and fishes on the mountain-
side were you thinking that God was with you or was the
God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob somewhere else?
On the nights around the campfire did you find God or
was the God of your ancestors strangely elsewhere and
this man was bridging the gap in your own baffled thinking?
Did you see the dust of his walking and hear the echo of
his words and feel your heart move with a longing for Him?
How did you feel when he made Mary Magdalene a leader?
Did you feel that this brought you closer to the living God?
How did you feel pulling in nets full of fish after a long night
of emptiness. Was it then you knew? My Lord and my God!
Dear Peter, when was Emmanuel with you? Did you, like
we do, miss the moment when Elohim walked miles in the
desert of our living souls, felt the very hair on our heads
that he numbered, and emphatically embraced with love?
Did you as he ascended into heaven think, come back I
have only just realised you were here with us? Were you
separated from Him and God as you waited in fear in the
city of Jerusalem? Were you able to feel their presence?
Or was it when the Spirit came that you suddenly knew that
Jesus was God and so you spoke so calmly and clearly of
the truth of his being; that God had come to our rescue. You
told us clearly that God was always present but was it easy
for you? You led the church and saw thousands coming to
give their lives to Jesus the Messiah. Was he there, as solid
as the Romans who arrested you? Or Peter was he only really
the living God as you died, crucified, upside down on a cross?
It was the law that we were aware of as we tried to live in an
occupied country. Strict laws, tithes, taxes, Talmud. We never
even thought we were worthy of God’s presence and we saw
the Messiah as a man, like any other one, but even so – His
words wondrous in our hearts. We saw his miracles and knew
that he loved and turned aside from the law for the sake of
people. Yet, no, we did not know that he was God with us.
We only realised that God had been when it was too late,
You have the New Testament, Josephus, history and so, so
much information. We had only a day to day living knowledge
as we walked together, ate together, washed and worked side
by side. When he rose from he dead we were devastated by
the realisation that we had not understood, not seen, not been
aware of the creation changing events he brought to our world.
We knew then that God was with us and we felt the Holy Spirit
but we trusted and followed in hinted hopefulness, like you in faith.