My dad’s bigger than your dad.
My dad’s as tall as the moon,
as strong as the wind,
as wide as the sky.
You should see my dad!
He’s got stars in his fists.
He bends rainbows on his knee.
When he breathes, clouds move.
He’s good is my dad.
You can’t scare him with the dark.
You can’t scare him with guns or sticks.
He makes bullies say sorry
just by staring.
Big green monsters fall asleep on his lap.
Ghosts start haunting each other.
My dad’s been everywhere
but he says he likes the world.
Earth people are fun, he says.
My dad knows more than teacher.
He knows everything.
He knows what you’re thinking,
even when you try to trick him
by thinking something else.
If you tell a lie
my dad says he can tell
by the look on your face.
My dad’s the best dad ever.
I say I love him
a million times a million
times a million times a million trillion.
My dad says he loves me
a billion trillion times more than that
My dad likes to love.
My dad made the world.
My Dad by Steve Turner, from Poems, Lion, 2002
Perfomance song by the group – Fix you
Which one was it
who held the nails
and then hammered them
Did he hit them
out of anger,
or a simple
sense of duty?
Was it a job
that had to be done,
or a good day’s work
in the open air?
And when they
slid past bone
and bit into wood,
was it like all the others,
or did history
shudder a little
beneath the head
of that hammer?
Was he still there,
packing away his tools,
when It is finished
was uttered to the throng,
or was he at home
washing his hands
and getting ready
for the night?
Will he be
Among the forgiven
On the Day of Days
His sin having been skewered
By his own savage spike?
The Nail Man by Steve Turner from Poems, Lion Publishing
For more Steve Turner visit the Re-Jesus website
Peter was one of Jesus closest friends. He had been with him from the start, called from his job as a fisherman to go and catch disciples. He was one of the inner three of Jesus closest disciples. As Jesus reached the end point and climax of his mission impossible you would have thought it would be Peter who would stand by him…You would expect big, burly Peter to stand by the carpenter from Nazareth. They had a lot in common, both worked with their hands, came from out of the way, unpopular places, and they had been through a together. Peter was the one who jumped in the water when he saw Jesus, he was the one who got the furthest down the track to working out what Jesus was all about.
But when the chips were down, when Jesus needed his friends the most they let him down…
How do you feel when someone lets you down? When a good friend blames you for something they did? When a work colleague you are expecting support from on a project at work suddenly caves in to the pressure from their boss and leaves you high and dry, looking stupid, feeling betrayed and very, very angry. When a brother or sister sets you up and you get left holding the evidence at home. Or when a loved ones causes you to wonder if they really know you because of what they have thought about you.
Take a moment to discuss how you feel when someone lets you down? When someone betrays you?
When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.
Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”
Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God-ha! The Chosen-ha!”
The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!”
Luke 23; 33-36 (The Message)
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Did Judas really get stitched up? Was he in the wrong place at the wrong time and someone had to play the traitor.
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Was Mary ripped off as her son who had promised so much suffered a cruel and embarrassing death. Judged and condemned by a corrupt system that was looking for a scapegoat and an easy way out. Her son was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
And here was Peter. Peter, friend, confident, follower of Jesus right from the start….You would have thought he would get this right, surely he would stand up for Jesus, an innocent man, and yet three times he was asked to witness to knowing this Jesus and each time he denied he ever knew him.
All who had come around as spectators to watch the show, when they saw what actually happened, were overcome with grief and headed home. Those who knew Jesus well, along with the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a respectful distance and kept vigil.
Luke 23; 48 -49 The Message
An innocent man went to his death. Surely Jesus would want to get his own back. But it was too late. Peter had got away with it, Jesus was dead, his body safely tucked away in a borrowed tomb and Peter went back to his day job – fishing.
There was no payback for Peter. He had got away with it, or had he…..
At the crack of dawn on Sunday, the women came to the tomb carrying the burial spices they had prepared. They found the entrance stone rolled back from the tomb, so they walked in. But once inside, they couldn’t find the body of the Master Jesus.
They were puzzled, wondering what to make of this. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there. The women were awestruck and bowed down in worship. The men said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” Then they remembered Jesus’ words.
They left the tomb and broke the news of all this to the Eleven and the rest. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them kept telling these things to the apostles, but the apostles didn’t believe a word of it, thought they were making it all up.
But Peter jumped to his feet and ran to the tomb. He stooped to look in and saw a few grave clothes, that’s all. He walked away puzzled, shaking his head.
Luke 24; 1-12 The Message
Now you might think that this is an unlikely event to happen. Peter is in trouble now – Jesus is back, this is payback time. Jesus will be able to give Peter a real good piece of his mind and tell him exactly what he thinks of him.
Is that what happens? No.
What happens next is an act of grace. You see God has a different way of payback. This is God’s way. Peter had denied Jesus of that there is no doubt. We read at the end of Luke he walks away puzzled and shaking his head.
We read in another Gospel by John, that Peter gets an invitation for breakfast. This is payback time and Jesus’ way is to rebuild the relationship,
“This is come and eat with me, ….”
“Yeah, you ran away but, ….”
This is acceptance despite what is deserved, Meal sharing in Jesus’ day was a sign of acceptance and intimacy.
You know how difficult it is to sit down at the family table when there has been an argument or falling out or disagreement. It is so difficult to look people in the eyes and share a meal. There is this uncomfortable and uneasy atmosphere….
Can you imagine how Peter must have been feeling….
Today is the day we celebrate friendships remade.
Today is the day we celebrate Jesus being raised from the dead by our Father in Heaven.
Death has been defeated, we are given the gift of life, ….
Today we discover what payback looks like with God – it is an invitation to eat a meal, it is grace.
We started the evening with the words of Coldplay in their song Fix you
“When you try your best but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse.
And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you”
The invitation is there for you, come and eat, discover what payback looks like in the Kingdom of God.