The disciple Peter is a favourite of mine.
Peter was on a journey discovering his identity 'You are Peter, the rock and on this rock I will build my Church' said Jesus. Peter's intention was to continue this journey with Jesus, to keep on going and growing. We find this intention in John's gospel where some of the early Disciples were finding it hard. In John chapter 6 v60-69 we see that the followers were finding the teachings of Jesus SO challenging that some were giving up. Verse 66 tells us 'Many of His followers turned back, no longer walking with him.' This was no easy journey, no light commitment, this was challenging stuff with implications on choice and lifestyle and so on.
And Jesus challenges the 12 disciples, those who'd been with Him from the beginning of His ministry: 'Do you want to give up too?' Jesus asks them. Simon Peter responds:
'To whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life!'
Note, Peter does not say 'why would we go its just a bundle of laughs, a walk in the park following you Jesus!' He is not saying its easy, but he is declaring that Jesus is worth pursuing. And yet, as we know Peter gets it wrong, loses his way and needs to come back to the centre, seek forgiveness, to be made new.
I know these are challenging times to be disciples.
We will all know people who began the journey as followers of Jesus but who have not continued their journey. It is not easy to keep going sometimes, when it seems that the going is too hard, the path too steep, the setbacks too severe, the way too confusing and precarious.
But we are an Easter people, a people of resurrection faith, a community of transformation, a community of new life.
Perhaps there's no better time than now for us to draw closer to God, to allow God to touch our lives once again, to meet our needs, to allow the message of the Risen Christ to impact us and each other, and consequently, our church, our communities and wider.