Failure is very much a part of our life experience. We may have failed that first Driver’s Road Test (yes, that was me); that waterskiing attempt which ended with a huge gulp of lake water and some very sore muscles the next day; or that great Business idea that struggled to a horrible death after months of effort and money. Failure is painful. It can be discouraging and lead to a time of discouragement and depression. But it can also become a time of growth.
Yes, the reason for failure can be as simple as poor planning, a lack of giftedness, or it may be the result of sin in our lives. Our world and the scriptures are full of examples of moral failure and the consequences that result. But failure is not the end of the story. Many times, great success and significant discoveries come after multiple failures. And the same can be true regarding sin. Forgiveness and grace is available through Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection…..what a gift!
The focus of our worship for the next two weeks, as we look to celebrate The Lord’s Supper together on Sunday Oct. 10, will be Failure, Forgiveness and Grace. God is totally able to take our failures, those times when we mess up, yes, even our acts of sinfulness, and transform them into growth, of holy learning, and righteousness, all through His forgiveness and grace.
Read and reflect on the following two examples where the disciples stumbled & failed, and how Christ responded in love.
A. 33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” Mark 9: 33-37
B. 54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”
57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.
58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”
“Man, I am not!” Peter replied. 59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”
60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Luke 22: 54-62
[To read Christ’s response of love to Peter, read John 21]