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Dinner Theater? What Would Peter Do?

May 18, 2015

Taking my study this morning a little differently than most. Too often we take a study, and apply it to how we can be a better ___________ (just fill in the blank). Sometimes, it comes from teachers and preachers in the form of “3 things we can do to be a better person (or Christian). When we start justifying ourselves and trying to self affirm ourselves like this we start to have pride problems, almost Phariseeical in nature.

Not that we shouldn’t look for inspiration, affirmation, or hope in the Word of God, we should. But our hope is found in the Cross and His Grace, not in what we can do to earn it. We love and respect one another because we want to, not because of obligation (or otherwise known as “what do I get out of the deal?”).

Jesus didn’t tell Peter to go entertain others. He didn’t say to go tickle their ears. He was pretty adamant about what He asked, and how to love.

John 21:15-17

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time,“Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” (ESV)

#1 Feed the lambs
#2 Tend the sheep
#3 Feed the sheep

Sometimes it seems as if the Church works hardest on #1 and neglects #2 and #3. Do we? I grew up in church, I left church for over 15 years as a young adult, feeling miserable that I didn’t measure up to what “church was” and finally came back understanding that I’m not a “good church person”, but rather as a sinner who needs redemption. Realizing that made this passage all the more striking now. I got a continuous dose of #1 previously, not so much of #2 or #3.

We all deny Christ, we all have. Those of us who follow Christ will. We’re called to make disciples, in love, not to entertain audiences in essentially what could be perceived as nothing but cheap dinner theater. Tickling the ears doesn’t do much more than putting seats in pews, it doesn’t send disciple makers out into the world to be His witnesses or His Church. Church should be an action, not a noun!



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