A video that helps put things into perspective. Imagine if there were only 100 peoeple on earth, using the same proportions (statistics or percentage) of our big world. I am richer and more blessed than 75% of the world's population.
Appreciate what you have. There's so much to be thankful for.
Remember the rest. Pray for them. Perhaps in some ways we can make a difference?
There's a reality TV series called Jamie's Kitchen, based on a cooking school that celebrity chef Jamie Oliver started for the down trodden and back alley youngsters. I've heard the concept and loved him for it. While in Melbourne, Dav walked me past his centre and pointed it out.
Today, for the first time, I saw the series. And it moved me to tears... A lot of kids need these kinda break. They hadn't been fortunate and could use a place to belong, some guidance and some people to believe in them, they need hope and love. The reality show sounded real issues (discipline issues, background and past), stories and sounds of hope.
I was inspired. It sounds like quite an idea. Got me thinking....
Peter wasn't just one of the 12 Disciples. He was a die-hard fan of Jesus. Just earlier that same night he declared that even if the rest deserted Jesus, he never will. He had given everything to follow Jesus, since that first day he was called. When Jesus was arrested, it was Peter who drew his sword and started swinging it around, cutting of a servant's ear. Yet it was Peter who denied knowing Jesus, three times.
He couldn't have done it deliberately or with evil intent in his heart. He loves Jesus! Yet in his vigor of spying on Jesus and waiting for the verdict of his beloved Lord, he had denied Jesus out of fear. Maybe he didn't want to blow his cover. Maybe he was just afraid of being caught as well (after all, how can he rescue Jesus if he was caught?). Whatever his excuse was, he denied Jesus. As Jesus had insulted his devotion earlier that day by predicting it. When the rooster crowed, Peter would have been crushed at the realization.
How dark the days ahead must have been. To have failed, and failed miserably. How difficult it is to wake up in the morning and find hope again. To not know if he had been forgiven, to explain or express himself, to say he was so sorry. It was all over now that Jesus was dead.
But the miracle of Easter took place. Jesus, now back from the dead, seeks Peter out. There was mixed emotions at the sight of Jesus. Should he stay away from guilt? Should he walked the other way because he had failed? "What defines us is how well we rises after falling" said the butler in "Maid in Manhattan". Peter ran... no... swam to shore ahead of the boat. Once again by his Masters side, he was lost for words. Should he have said 'I'm sorry' or should he have explained? Should he tell Jesus that he does actually love him a lot?
But our dear Lord, oh, what a surprise it was. Jesus was so beyond his expectation. Commenting on Peter's restoration, the late Roy Hicks Jr wrote in 'A Small Book About God' said: "What breaks your heart and mine is being forced to recognize that even though we have failed Him miserably, we genuinely do love Him. We have failed Him - only to discover that he doesn't want to talk about our failures. He wants to talk about our love."
Jesus did not say a word about Peter's failures. Sometimes we look at our own failures and think it has to be the end. But Jesus says 'it's not over yet'. He holds us by the hand and talks about our love, our strengths, our future....
How shocking it is to know that God is more kind and giving than you ever dared hope and that you want to do His will more than you ever thought possible - Bruce Wilkinson in 'The Secrets of the Vine'.
Peter was the one that stood in front of the crowd on the Day of Pentecost. Peter was the one that led the Twelve and the movement of the church. Peter was the one who died upside down on a cross. Peter was not perfect, but this realization propelled him onwards, doing things he never could have imagined, till the end of his life. Because he got it.
In our own lives and in ministry, whether dealing with our own failures or the failures of others, let us emulate Jesus in his restoration method. May we remember to always run (or swim) towards Jesus and not away, despite our shortcomings. May we remember to be compassionate towards others and help propel them forward despite their mistakes. Let us be agents of hope, of love, of encouragement, of restoration to the world.