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Thought of the Day

Observers and Bystanders

There are always the observers and the bystanders:
those who see all, who take it in, who watch

Peter Disowns Jesus

Matthew 26:69-75

69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.

70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”

73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”

74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”

Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Reflection

There are always the observers and the bystanders:
those who see all, who take it in, who watch,
and wait
and weigh
and measure.

There are those who stay on the fringes,
who hang back, don’t get involved.

And then there are those who pitch in:
those who, from the shadows, want to be in on the action.
Those who perceive wrongdoing and want to make things right.

“He was there”
“That’s one of his friends”

Both offered as indictments, not encouragement.
To be identified as one of Jesus of Nazareth’s cohorts
was not a compliment but a judgment, a risky calling.

The women who served had noticed.
Call it a woman’s intuition.
Call it curiosity…
It was the women who called Peter out
on his friendship and his loyalty.
It was the women who confronted Peter with his denial.
And Peter wept bitterly.

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