There is a legend about Apostle Peter when he was martyred. Christians in Rome had pleaded with Peter to leave the city to save his life. Peter didn‟t want to go but at last he consented and left the city. Peter was walking along the Appian Way outside of Rome, when he met the Risen Christ at a crossroads. Peter asked, “Domine, quo vadis? (Where are you going Lord?)” Jesus answered, “I am going to Rome to be crucified again.” Peter turned around and went back to Rome and became a martyr for the Lord.
We remember Peter denying Jesus three times to save his own life. Whenever Peter denied him, Jesus was not far from him. Even when Peter cursed Jesus, he was watching Peter. Three years of learning from Jesus was not enough for Peter to keep his faith. His famous confession, “Jesus is the Son of God,‟ couldn‟t help him to say, „Yes, I believe in Jesus‟ in Caiaphas‟ courtyard. Peter had a strong will to follow Jesus as a disciple, but facing the fear of death he wasn‟t able to keep his faith. We can understand him because we are all human beings who have weakness. Then what made him change in Rome?
The Holy Spirit had changed Peter. After Peter received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, his will became stronger than
before but in a different way. He was able to put his own will away whenever God‟s will guided him. He came to believe that Jesus conquered the power of death. This enabled him to boldly go out to the streets and share his experiences in Jesus who gave him a meaning of life. Peter’s action called people to be a body of Christ – the Church. I see the same story and action in John Wesley in the 18th century. John went out to the streets to call people to be a body of Christ-the Church.
We know that we, the United Methodist Church, is having a very difficult time. I believe this is the time to hold on to our faith and follow Jesus our Lord. This is the time to overcome our fear and call people to be one body of Christ. Let us have faith in God who has wonderful plans for us. God is good and his plans for us are always good. I believe that MPUMC wants to continue to be a faithful servant for God‟s kingdom. We want to follow you Lord. Where are you going Lord?
Love you all in Christ, KyuTae