A 14 Day Meditation on the Love of God
God is Not Angry with You
The Empathy of God
Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
All the earth worships you
and sings praises to you;
they sing praises to your name.”—Psalm 66:1–4
Scripture Reading–Isaiah 54:9
“This is like the days of Noah to me:
as I swore that the waters of Noah
should no more go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you,
and will not rebuke you.”
Praise song 1 with link
Praise song 2 with link
Praise song 3 with link
insert message in this place
Everyone knows the name St. Peter, and most Christians are familiar with the Biblical stories surrounding him. Even so, our picture of St. Peter is hazy at best. What we know of him is overlaid with thousands of years of myth and legend. But when we look behind all that and examine the original source material, we get a much more human picture of Jesus’ most prominent. disciple.
Peter was born Simon Bar Jonas, a fisherman from Galilee. He is often portrayed as being poor and uneducated, but this is not supported by the text and history.
Peter was at least middle class. He inherited a fishing business from his father, which included at least a dozen workers. His brother Andrew and his cousins James and John worked the business with him. They would catch fish in Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee), process them in Magdela, and transport them to Jerusalem for sale. His home was in a district of Capernaum named Bethsaida, or “fish town.” This explains why Peter and the others were in Jerusalem.
John and Andrew left the fishing business to follow the prophet, John the Baptist. When Jesus arrived to be baptized by John, the two cousins became followers of Jesus. They later introduced their brothers to Jesus, and all four were among Jesus’ twelve. Three of them–Simon, James, and John–became Jesus’ inner circle.
Simon had a natural confidence and leadership abilities. He was usually the first to speak and say what everyone else was thinking. He seems to have thought from the first that he would be the leader after Jesus. Jesus even named him “Rock” (Peter) because of his faith.
But Peter’s natural leadership abilities also were a problem. It caused him to be proud and even boastful. While Peter was first to follow Jesus into danger, he often neglected to listen and wait.
When Jesus was arrested, Peter at first wanted to fight, then he became afraid and even denied the Lord. His self-assurance broke in the face of real danger. As a result, he became assured.
In John 20, Jesus restored Peter, encouraging him to feed His sheep. But Jesus also told Peter how he would die. He would be led around to a place he did not want to go. This was more than a prophecy of his death, it was a revelation of all our death. At the end of our lives, we are not in control. If we live in our own confidence and self-assurance, we will be disappointed. But if we live in obedience and rest, trusting in God’s grace, we will be kept in peace, no matter what happens.
Peter met his death in Rome by direct order of Emperor Nero. According to legend, he was crucified upside down by his choice, feeling unworthy to die in the manner of Christ.
Peter became the apostle of humility. In his letters, he wrote.
“ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.” Peter 5: 6-7
Today, think about God’s perfect empathy revealed in the Incarnation of Christ. God entered into this world so He could experience all our joys, pains, and sufferings. Even in the hard moments of life, He feels what we feel to the degree that we feel it. Close your eyes and call up one of your best memories. Imagine Jesus beside you, enjoying it right along with you. God shares our joys with us, and never leaves us to celebrate alone. Now close your eyes and bring up one of your worst memories. Imagine Jesus beside you, suffering as you suffered thought it. God shares our pains with us and never leaves us to suffer alone.
Closing Worship Songs
Worship song 1
Worship song 2
Worship song 3
Empathetic Father, who feels what we feel when we are hurt and when we are happy, make your care known to us today.
“”The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. . . Amen.
Galatians 6: 18