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good morning friends how you doing I am just happily here just roasting my marshmallows a few years ago I got to go camping um I have a love-hate relationship with camping I first time taking all my kids and we got there and we got the camper set up with a lot of effort and all of those different things um and then I realized the fundamental flaw of camping uh the fundamental floor is this uh that you uh if you take kids with you they get up super early and when you take them camping they get up even earlier um so when my kids got up somewhere around five and we have tested this by the way the sprinklers will not go off we think my kids get up usually about five and they got up even earlier and after we wrestled with uh like keeping them in there and when was a respectable time to let them loose in society we eventually said well let’s go cook breakfast uh and after we got out of the camper we started trying to set up all of our different stuff to make that work and if I’m honest I had one thought running through my mind I can’t wait to go home

cooking is so much simpler when you have a stove and all of those different things like those wonderful things that we have been given by very intelligent people uh to enable us to uh to to just make sure that camping is a delight would you like a marshmallow it’s all yours

to make sure that cammie’s late I thought I just can’t wait to go home and then as we got breakfast ready I remember a friend who had come camping with us he was at the site next to us I remember him sitting looking at me and he had the strangest expression on his face and I looked across at him and I said are you pitying me and he said no I’m envying you he said you are in this magical moment your kids are running around and you’re cooking them breakfast and somehow figuring out a way to make coffee and I’m sat here with my coffee that was easy to make with my book and my kids will wake up in a few hours and then they’ll want breakfast and then they’ll go and I won’t see them for the rest of the day right now you’re in these moments to be treasured and I thought wow that’s really profound crazy but profound like it’s so much easier when your kids don’t want something off you all the time and then we spent the rest of the weekend around a campfire we spent it cooking s’mores cooking marshmallows we set spent it with good friends talking having great conversation late into the night and I remember when I got back home and I got my couple of days rest at the office as you need after a good camping trip and I thought this I can’t wait to go back I can’t wait to go back and there’s something about the smell of campfire that for me will instantly send me back into that space there’s something incredibly interesting about smell in general these were when I looked the top five smells so see what you resonate with freshly baked bread there are a couple of heroes in the church that have made me freshly baked bread and if you want to make me some to so I can compare uh and I can have like a whole chart and everything we can do that just just let me know but that that smell is just delightful you smell it in the oven it’s just developing number two is bacon um I I when I was a youth pastor I would cook bacon for all of the students once a month and and the smell would waft from the north end of the building to the south end of the building and just interestingly some some parents especially guys that I’d never seen at any other point would feel called just to drop in on the youth ministry that day just to see how things were going and see if they could have a good conversation freshly cut grass this is one of my favorites I worked on a golf course and just the aroma of that just in the air coffee and necessity in the morning you know the morning is going well when the coffee is up and running and then number five was melted chocolate I lived down the road from a chocolate factory if I sound like charlie from charlie and little chocolate factory it’s just coincidence but but I uh you could go stand in the parking lot and the melted chocolate smell of cadburys chocolate would just just waft into the air there’s something incredible about smells that’s that’s actually scientific uh what we’re told is this smell is the most evocative and longest lasting of the senses there’s something about the way something smells that can throw you back into a memory from decades before how many of you have walked somewhere and said oh I just caught a roamer of something and it reminds me of this place or this space or this time uh the writer teresa white says this the sense of smell conjures up memories so strong that you feel as if you are experiencing the event again when I smell fire campfire I am experiencing some of those wonderful memories of just time around if I enjoying that experience but here’s a question if that can be true of our good times our good memories are good experiences can it also be true of our worst other ways that smell can conjure up past experiences past moments in a way that actually is painful we actually occasionally use language there is you may have heard the language the stench of failure the the stinker failure the the great prophet homer simpson uh once said while sitting in a bath after after a failed project washing himself saying the stink of failure is still on me now that may seem weird to to us in our society but if you go to japan where honor and shame are very much important concepts that idea that failure that shame is is tangible and transferable is very very real this is the last japanese person who was well known to to to die by ritual suicide by sepulcher he failed in a military operation and the sense of shame was so strong on him that he committed suicide he died from suicide because of that we see ways that failure can put us into places that are really negative and maybe some of you have been in those moments maybe some of you have had those experiences where you said the sense of failure the sense of struggle the sense of regret is so strong I’m not sure that I can continue for this guy that was a real lived experience what if something about smell can tap us back not just into positives what if it can throw us back into negatives we’re gonna look at a guy today called peter who I would suggest that has the potential to be true of in this series rip tired we rip tired we’ve looked at a few different characters we’ve looked at how Jesus has interacted with them post-resurrection so we’ve had mary who has experienced what it is to live in darkness she’s experienced we’re told in biblical language she has had seven demons cast out and now Jesus is gone does she now go back what happens her story has moved from darkness to life with Jesus not around it is the potential that it returns to darkness she needs to know that she won’t go back to her old story this cleopas this character that we find walking on the emmaus road leaving the story he’s getting out of town he can no longer commit to this thing he has this sense of defeat and then last week we looked at good old thomas who is somewhat miscount counted as a as a doubter but has this experience of I don’t know if I can keep believing in Jesus I don’t know if I can sign up for this again he let me down he wasn’t what I thought he was God has let me down I’m not sure I can recommit to this story each of them needed Jesus in specific ways and I would say interestingly aren’t each of them quite like us in lots of ways you may not have been in all of those places but I bet you’ve probably at some point been in one I bet you’ve made a journey at some point from a place that seemed like a dark time in your life to a place that seemed good and worried that you might go back there I bet at some point you’ve had that sense of is the story worth it is the church worth it it seems at times to be so fractured and broken worldwide can I still stay involved in this and then how about doubt both types of doubt that we talked about last week the head doubt the the questions of like you know what if can God make a rock that he can’t destroy or any of those weird things we might ask ourselves and then the existential doubt the felt doubt of this is a broken thing I am broken this is too painful I can’t sign up for this again for each of these people what I would say is that the resurrection was true but not yet true for them the resurrection was true but not yet true for them and Jesus in his incredible way comes alongside each of them and he pulls them back into his story he gives them new stories to live by and the same is true of peter but let’s remind ourselves just a few things about peter this is the last story that we know of peter before Jesus death and resurrection so let’s just get a sense of where he was if you don’t know peter’s character a couple of things you need to know about him peter is the brash one peter is the outspoken one he always has an opinion on everything he seems to be the leader of the disciples sometimes because he was asked to be but sometimes just because he’s peter and he chose to be and that’s just how peter works it tells you most things you need to know about him so in mark chapter 14 we’re told this on the way Jesus told them all of you will desert me for the scriptures say God will strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered coming up to his crucifixion coming up to his arrest Jesus predicts that the people most loyal to him will no longer show loyalty to him and peter right on cue says even if everyone else deserves you I never will Jesus replied I tell you the truth peter this very night before the rooster crows twice you would deny me deny three times that you even know me and it tells us something about how peter understands Jesus at this point and how peter sees himself at this point that his response isn’t Jesus you’re often so wise if you say so it must be so his response is no peter declared emphatically even if I have to die with you I I I will never deny you bold claim my friend and then we see the story unpack as Jesus is arrested we’re told peter was in the courtyard below that is the scene that mark paints one of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by and noticed peter warming himself at the fire she looked at him closely and said you were one of those with Jesus of nazareth a couple of details that the author chooses to pick out a courtyard and a fire this is the scene that we are given there is a fire and peter is stood at it with a group of people and has this opportunity opportunity at Jesus lowest moment at the moment everyone else has deserted him to say oh I know this man yes I follow him yes I consider him to be all of the things that peter considers Jesus to be but his response is different but peter denied it I don’t know what you’re talking about he said and went out into the entryway just then a rooster crowed warning number one I remember being back as an eight-year-old I remember those moments I lived in an area that very few people followed Jesus and I remember being questioned are you a christian and remember as an eight-year-old saying yes but remember as a teenager that got far harder to own up to I feel like I’ve been a little bit where peter sat and know what it feels like to be in this moment round two when the servant girl saw him standing there she began telling the others this man is definitely one of them but peter denied it again a little later some of the other bystanders confronted peter and said you must be one of them because you are a galilee and the galileans this area had a very distinct sort of accent peter swore a curse on me if I’m lying and I don’t know this man you’re talking about and immediately the rooster crowed the second time this is the last time we encountered peter before Jesus death and resurrection and we find him don’t we find him at his lowest point at his worst moment now what’s interesting as we look for the redemption in the story is mark who we’re told historically wrote this text mark was very close with peter so the only reason he knows this story is what peter told him peter said came to this place he said mark that’s got to go in there you’ve got to put it in me at my lowest you need to share that because it’s going to say something later in the story but right now if I had to find a picture to encapsulate how I see peter and his place within the followers of Jesus it’s probably this one

peter is in that place of he’s on the fringe does he still belong that moment where a dog shows its remorse shows the fact that he’s done something he shouldn’t have done the guilty expression Jesus has so far met the disciples twice since his resurrection and peter has been conspicuous in his silence peter who’s always outspoken peter who always has something to say has said nothing thomas has said something others have spoken up but peter seems like he’s sitting on the fringe and now it’s been one day two days three days then eight days and then more days and still there’s been no moment where peter has this come to Jesus moment this literal come to Jesus moment where he gets to encounter Jesus perhaps one-on-one in real conversation still he’s trapped in this moment that looks like this I would suggest he sits somewhere between guilt and shame he has done something wrong but what does that mean now Jesus is risen and yet still there is this deep weight on him we did a load of work on guilt and shame in our emotions series and and our friend kevin butcher spoke about shame and where it comes from in genesis and so if you’ve not heard that maybe go back and check it out but right now it’s enough to say that shame is this intensely negative emotion that usually comes from how we see other people and their value and our shame is a self-conscious emotion generated by self-reflection and self-evaluation when a person’s failures or shortcomings are displayed publicly and it is often accompanied by fear of rejection or abandonment by the group doesn’t that sound like peter where am I now what does the story mean for me now am I still the leader of this group like the leader the spokesperson of the disciples am I outside of this group is the forgiveness for me how does Jesus feel about me so many questions must be swirling in his mind day after day after day as he sits in this place of failure of brokenness all of the things he promised he didn’t live up to any of them and maybe you’ve sat there maybe not it’s maybe not in relationship to Jesus but but maybe you’ve had moments where everything seems like it’s gone wrong I’d I definitely have maybe there were some things that you said yes to that you should have said no to maybe the things you said no to that you should have said yes to maybe there’s just something that just sticks out in your mind and it has some association with guilt but perhaps also not shame is kind of unique in that it doesn’t require you to have done anything wrong it’s just an emotion about how you are perceived and how you fit and how you belong if anything maybe this is helpful language guilt is a wound shame is a scar I I was at work years ago I was working on a golf course and I hit my head on the guy’s head next to me were in a car together it bumped and we clashed heads and it seemed like it was just going to be a minor thing it glared a little bit but then it seemed to be fine and then suddenly in this spot on my head all of my hair started falling out now some of you guys pull off boldness delightfully well you look awesome and you’re living the dream you don’t have to worry about upkeep or anything but for those of us with long hair this is like worst case scenario where’s it going like this is my identity I can’t handle this people would come up to me and they’d say you’ve got something in your hair oh no it’s just a bald spot now this had never happened to me before in my life and so I experienced the emotional pain that I’m sure some of you have been through but I went to the doctor got a quick operation and they fixed it they took out some stuff that you don’t need to hear described it looked disgusting too much information but then theoretically problem fixed until it scarred and then I noticed every time I went out in the sun there was this intense moment of pain as the sun hit this one particular spot that’s how scars often work long after wounds heal scars are still painful to touch long after the guilt has gone shame says the moment something touches that spot ouch I feel it you know if for you there are certain words that I could use certain situations life experiences that I can reference and the just the mention of them it’s like wow I feel that sometimes it’s a particular person when they text when they call we just don’t want to pick up the phone sometimes it’s a particular building or organization the scar can remain long afterwards guilt is a wound and shame is a scar and I would suggest somewhere in that tension right now is where peter sits what do my actions mean now Jesus is risen and what story does he have for me now which leads us beautifully to john chapter 21. if you have a text and you want to read along with me you are welcome to do that I’m going to read through it fairly quickly we’ll go back through it verse by verse assuming we have time and man I need to get moving if you guys want lunch but I already ate so I’m not fussed I mean we can just keep going you guys can mail in your panera orders back a truck up or something chapter 21 after Jesus appeared again to his disciples by the sea of galilee happened this way simon peter thomas also known as didymus nathaniel from kaner in galilee the sons of zebedee and two other disciples were together I’m going out to fish simon peter told them and they said to him we’ll go with you so they went out got into the boat but that night they caught nothing early in the morning Jesus stood on the shore but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus he called out to them friends haven’t you any fish no they answered he said throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some when they did they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to peter it is the lord as soon as simon peter heard him say it is the lord he wrapped his outer garment around him for he’d taken it off and jumped into the water the other disciples followed in the boat towing a full net of fish for they were not far from the shore about a hundred yards when they landed they saw a fire of burning coals with fish on it and some bread Jesus said to them bring some of the fish you have just caught so simon peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore it was full of large fish 153 but even so with so many the net was not torn Jesus said to them come and have breakfast none of the disciples did ask him who are you they knew it was the lord Jesus came took the bread and gave it to them and did the same with the fish this was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead when they had finished eating Jesus said to simon peter simon son of john do you love me more than these yes lord he said you know how that I love you Jesus said feed my lambs again Jesus said simon son of john do you love me he answered yes lord you know that I love you Jesus said take care of my sheep the third time he said to him simon son of john do you love me peter was her because Jesus asked him the third time do you love me he said lord you know all things you know that I love you let’s pray God as we enter into this text from all sorts of places of failure all sorts of places of struggle all sorts of places of questioning we enter this with guilt with shame with a need for you to create new stories and so we come to you who does that for peter and ask how you might do that for us so God speak as we need to hear you for those in need of comfort bring us comfort for those in need of affliction of stirring up would you stir us up comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable as you do so often ah man afterwards Jesus appeared again to his disciples by the sea of galilee happened this way there’s some suggestion this chapter feels a little bit tacked on to the end of john it seems to end very cleanly in john 20. but in actual fact that’s just quite often how greek texts work if you read homer’s iliad the whole story the climax happens and then there’s a chapter that just seems to wrap up some character issues so this is fairly normal to happen in this culture simon peter thomas also known as didymus from last week nathaniel from canada and galilee the sons of zebedee and the two other disciples were together I’m going out fishing simon peter told them when you don’t know where your story is going it’s very normal to return to something familiar and fishing is what peter knows that means in his culture at some point he’d been to synagogue school as all boys he’d started his education and someone had said the academic life peter is not for you go learn a trade go back to your father he’ll teach you to do what he does go to your uncle he’ll teach you to do what he does but you are not made to be an academic you’re not made to be a rabbi that means that when Jesus comes to peter and calls him that’s a surprise to everybody peter included he doesn’t fit the normal pattern the others say that they will go out with him and they got into the boat but that night they caught nothing interestingly that word nothing even though it just kind of gets lost in the text it is really what the whole passage centers around the whole passage centers around these followers of Jesus peter in in particular coming to realize they are completely reliant on Jesus that they can’t do this thing by themselves that uden is just simply nothing we caught nothing we can do nothing we are reliant on you is the conclusion that slowly that they will come to early in the morning Jesus stood on the shore but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus he called out to them friends haven’t you any fish the literal greek word is not actually friends it’s actually very endearingly it’s children it’s children you didn’t catch anything did you you’ve been out all night there were no results you need this conversation come this way no they answered he said throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some an unusual request most of the ore setup was on the right side of a fishing boat so you would cast your net off the left side so to cast it off the right they have to change everything around it’s something that no good fisherman would do and yet Jesus is asking them to do this and they do it on faith and when they did they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish and those of you that have been around the texts for a while around church for a while might say ah this story sounds familiar haven’t we been here before and yes of course we have the disciples first encounter or one of their first encounters was with this Jesus who tells them to do something unusual tells them to fish after fishing all night and catching nothing and a miraculous catch of fish appears it is also a moment where simon peter for the first time realizes something about who Jesus is and has moments where he says Jesus don’t call me pick somebody better go away from me I’m a sinful broken person Jesus I am not the person that you need I am not called to this in this moment there’s a trigger that says oh we’ve been here before this seems like a Jesus type story then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to peter it is the lord for those of you that can track back a couple of weeks we talked about this weird tension between this author this disciple that Jesus loved and and peter there’s kind of this weird collegiate competition when Jesus is raised they both run to the tomb and and this disciple is very keen for us to know I ran faster than peter just so you know I got there first it’s real child like schoolyard stuff and now we’re starting to see a little bit of it again the disciple whom Jesus loved said to peter it is the lord it’s like I recognized him first just so you know peter was the idiot that jumped in the water but I was the one that spotted him from the boat as soon as soon as simon peter heard him say it is the lord he wrapped his outer garment around him before he had taken it off and he jumped into the water things that you don’t see every day right it’s just I’m gonna jump and I’m gonna swim our text will say something about he he took his outer garment I put his outer garment around him he’d taken it off the greek texture says he was naked because they worked naked and he didn’t want to appear that way in front of Jesus so he throws his clothes on risks drowning and swims the hundred yards they have to swim to get to the boat and everyone else followed in the usual fashion I just wonder with peter he has this walking on water story I’m just wondering is he got some concept of I can still do this Jesus is back around it seems an odd decision to make but what I would suggest psychologically is this for this character he will do anything for just a few moments one-on-one with Jesus every other counter has had these moments of interaction with many other people there and for patriots I just need to get him alone if I could get him alone I’d know where I stood if I can get him alone I’d know what my story is whether I’m still included whether I’m still involved it’s a longing for just give me a couple of moments and when they get to shore we’re told when they landed they saw a fire a few days after standing by a fire and denying Jesus three times peter is now stood again by a fire and again with Jesus there is a fire to remind peter of his failure of smell his evocative his smell does something peter now stands there and he’s reminded of everything that happened everything that transpired that night he had an opportunity to stand up for Jesus and he didn’t when they landed they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it and some bread Jesus said to them bring some of the fish you have just caught so simon peter again been simon clambered back into the boat and dragged the net ashore a notable feed of strength to do that by yourself he’s kind of showing off he’s showing that he’s the he’s the physical dominating disciple that Jesus needs in this hour it was full of large fish 153 that’s a really weird number really random number there’s some suggestion that that might have been the number of species that were known at this time and so they threw it in to say Jesus knows all the fish but that would be a very strange thing to write I grant you doesn’t seem particularly likely Jesus said to them come and have breakfast come and have breakfast this the the the juxtaposition of a fire a few days before and a fire now that the kind of the way that it connects is impossible to miss in the text peter has stood by a fire and he’s denied Jesus and now he stands by another fire experiencing Jesus one-on-one for the first time somewhere the stories are the same does the place of denial and now a reminder of that denial but in this one beautiful way the stories are different yes there is a fire yes there is all the history of failure but at this fire there is breakfast there is a fire but there is also breakfast I would suggest there is a fire but there is also breakfast because Jesus is bringing a new day have you ever had that experience of I just need this day to end and I need that to be a new day and have you ever imagined what it would be like if there was no new day we constantly lived in the same day with all of our failures of this present day there in this same day forever somewhere in this story there is an encounter where peter meets Jesus by a fire but Jesus brings breakfast it takes all of the the connection of fire I wonder whether peter would have stood by every fire for the rest of his life and remembered this moment he had an opportunity to stand up for Jesus and he didn’t had an opportunity to live up to what he said and he didn’t and now he gets for the rest of his life to remember the day that he stood by a fire and Jesus made him breakfast because Jesus excels at bringing new stories out of old stories in this moment we see what redemption is we see what it is to take a smell that might bring all of the memories the stench of failure and in this moment that now means something different all together in this moment peter is going to learn just how Jesus sees him and how he can take his place in the story but in this moment what does peter still need does he need forgiveness if that is your answer I would say maybe yes but I would suggest and we’ll nudge towards this later I would suggest the forgiveness is already granted does he need repentance this turning around I would suggest maybe that’s already happened that that’s why peter is stood where he is now what in this moment does he need from Jesus for this story not to remain as a story of failure a story where he stood by a fire and he let Jesus down I I would suggest in this moment peter needs something that every single one of you and I need in our moments of brokenness and failure I would suggest when he needs his confession and when I say confession maybe you practice as a catholic or maybe that’s in your background for some of you it may be something that you still do you go and you do the confession box that’s not really what I’m talking about what I’m talking about is specifically what the greek word confession means and let’s just unpack this a little bit and and try and pull it out of this text when they had finished eating Jesus said to simon peter simon son of john do you love me more than these this writer john excels he is brilliant at taking crowds and bringing it down to just two people where everybody else seems to disappear from the picture and it’s just Jesus and one other person go back and read all through john and see the number of times that this happens it’s delightful writing do you do you love me more than these is his question yes lord he said you know that I love you Jesus said feed my lambs again Jesus said simon son of john do you love me he answered yes lord you know that I love you Jesus said take care of my sheep the third time he said to him simon son of john do you love me peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time do you love me in this moment every reaction of peter floods back to the story of just a few days ago stood back to his three failures the three times that he denied Jesus in luke’s version we read marks earlier in luke’s version there’s this poignant line the lord turned and looked straight at peter this heartbreaking reaction of peter as he goes outside and he weeps bitterly this intense encounter of what it is to let someone down and have them look at you directly and now once again they’re stood across a fire and Jesus is looking at peter and he asks him three times this question and the synergy the connection between the three times he denied Jesus is just again too clear to miss and peter has a choice does he go back to old p to does he find a way to defend himself does he find a way to explain why he did what he did all of those different things does he find a way to to demonstrate or try and prove his love for Jesus his connection his devotion to Jesus in this moment he doesn’t in this moment peter lands exactly where I think you and I should land in our moments of question in our moments where we encounter failure in our moments where we’re not all that we want to be in our moments where we feel like our story has turned into the worst version of itself in this moment he says lord do you know all things you know that I love you do you know all things Jesus you see me see me with all my fears fear see me in all the ways that my story is broken see me in all the ways that I would like to trust you and don’t see me in all the ways that I’ve broken relationships that I’ve heard other people see me in all the ways I’ve been hurt by other people see me all in all the hopes that I had for what my life would look like and the ways that it hasn’t turned out the way that I wanted see me and my parenting and my questioning of whether I even know how to do this see me in my marriage and watch a struggle see me in every situation see me my questions you see me you know all things you know the ways that I want to love you and fail the ways that I hope to be all that you would want me to be and I’m not you see me you know all things you know that to the best of my ability I love you know the ways that I need help to do that you see me in this moment peter who stood by a fire and three times denied Jesus is asked by Jesus a question three times and at the end of it comes to the end of himself comes to that moment of nothing I caught nothing and Jesus without you I am nothing and I need you to be everything because I can’t do this by myself the word confess homer legoman is simply that idea of to say the same as to just agree to come to that point and I would suggest like you and I so often peter needs this moment of confession say I don’t have a defense for the story I don’t have an answer for a news story but I need you to be that for me Jesus the writer nadia webber says this confession is a car wash for our secrets it’s this experience of what it is to speak out to say the same and to come out not just being clean but being aware that we are clean and what is fascinating to me in this moment the tension between characters in this moment I would suggest is no longer between john or the beloved disciple and peter it’s between judas and peter it’s between judas and peter judas the famous betrayer the famous the ultimate let down as a disciple during Jesus questioning of them before during his statement that every one of them would deny him judas has responded in a way very similar to peter and in many ways they are very similar characters then judas the one who would betray him said surely you don’t mean me rabbi Jesus answered you have said so in this moment I don’t know I don’t have an answer as to whether judas genuinely convinces himself that he won’t go through with his plan or whether he’s just simply lying but somewhere in this moment his response to Jesus suggestion is surely you don’t mean me and when Jesus dies he makes this plea on behalf of everybody that has failed him and I would suggest every single one of us sitting here with all of our brokenness and all of our stories father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing as a response to that peter says I agree I say the same yes I need that and I long for that I received that judas says surely you don’t mean me surely it’s not my story judas makes the ultimate decision he goes the wrong direction but peter peter he receives it Jesus prays forgive them peter responds I agree judas claims surely you don’t mean me now now there’s all this theological conversation we could have about election and does judas have a choice in this matter and really as it comes down to it it doesn’t actually matter why he has to make this choice or whether he has to make this choice but this is the choice he makes he can’t agree to that for whatever reason and I would suggest for each one of us in our moments of shame in our moments of regret of guilt in our moments where we feel outside of the story the choice we’re given is to confess and agree to say I need someone to pull me back into the story without you I have nothing without you I caught nothing I need you to pull me back in

and Jesus in his beautiful way as he is does for each of those first followers longs to pull us back into this story

is your answer I agree or is it you don’t mean me some questions for you to reflect on where do you experience guilt or shame how have you understood confession how has that changed what might it take for you to believe this Jesus who says he knows your story and longs to pull you into his story

and awaits your agreement Jesus as we sing

as you enter into this room in a particular way as you by your spirit come alongside each of us would you speak to us maybe through tears

maybe through doubt maybe through anger

you know all of our stories the ones that are fair and the ones that aren’t fair know the ways that we feel shame because of something we’ve done and the ways that we feel shame because of what’s been done to us know the ways that we are broken and have been broken

thank you Jesus amen