"This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." - Matthew 15:8-9 ESV
Intimacy is an unusual thing isn't it?
In Genesis chapter 32 Jacob feared his brother Esau and sent waves of gifts to his brother to try and make their meeting amicable. Then at the end of the chapter Jacob wrestles with an angel all night until the angel cripples him. That wrestling match gave Jacob a capacity to meet his brother in chapter 33.
Some people let others into their lives foolishly and others have walls up. Intimacy can happen if there is a capacity for it and it can be lost if that capacity is lost.
We all have people in our lives that we just don't know how to get through to don't we? Perhaps there are people that don't know how to get through to us also.
"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.' 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.' 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. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.' " - John 21:15-18 ESV
Peter denied Jesus three times and now Jesus gives three questions to Peter that unravel his denials one by one but what interests me is this morning is Jesus pointing Peter to the care of his flock because that care is a call to intimacy. He is drawing Peter down a road of maturity.
Peter turns a corner much like Jacob does after his wrestling match.
I don't want to live a life 'Honoring God with my lips' but having my heart be somewhere else. God is waiting to be gracious with open arms and there is intimacy there in His embrace.
I'm praying this morning for a number of people who want reconciliation but just don't know how to find it. They struggle and send waves of gifts but the walls stay firmly in place.
"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." - 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 ESV
Yes. God give us creativity. Your righteousness gives us the ability to be true to our self. Please lead us and make us beacons of reconciliation to You.