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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Today’s Reading | Matthew 16:13-20

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. (NRSV)

What is God?

That is a paraphrase of the question Jesus asked his disciples, but it is at the core of his question “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” The question started an animated debate with the disciples, as it would even today, but it was only Peter who said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” In that acknowledgement, that moment, Peter’s life was transformed as Jesus said, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.” Peter’s to-do list suddenly became much larger! The moment Peter recognized Jesus as Lord, he had a calling, a mission, to serve God and all people.

The question “What is God?” is an important one to wrestle with, but what really matters is accepting and receiving God into your life. When God is in your heart, mind, and soul, each of us can be transformed as Peter was. To know God is to be in service to God and to others, all of whom are created in the image of God. Service to God and all of God’s children leads to a never-ending cycle of revelation about God. Seeking God each day leads to an ever-opening awareness of who God is. It is all a never-ending circle of revelation, but it begins with a question and a simple answer for each person. The transformation begins the moment we accept God but is complete only at the end of this life when we become one with God in unending light and love.

God, help me to seek you and in that seeking be transformed. Help to me know you and in that knowing be changed. Help me to love you and in that love never leave you. Amen.

Written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music

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