Wednesday 28th June 2023

The Chaplain's Log

Over the last year we have been drawn to the story of Peter more than once.  He is a typical example of the very fallible followers who teach us about life, faith and leadership in scripture.  Peter is sure he will be loyal to Jesus, but as you may recall, denied him three times at the arrest.  This week we considered the encounter he has with the risen Jesus as they eat a BBQ fish breakfast (John chapter 21).  Three times Jesus asks him 'Do you love me'—a conversation which symbolically overwrites his triple betrayal with forgiveness and restored relationship.  Peter's faltering discipleship encounters the faithfulness of Jesus.

My last chapel theme revolves around this loyalty, or in its more scriptural sense—faithfulness.  Every boy will lead through the influence they have, so the kind of character we lead out of really matters.  Sometimes our world makes the mistake of promoting people who have charisma yet are without sufficient  character.  

Those who are loyal to other people find that good people are loyal to them.  Good leadership—good friendship—is built on loyalty.  We follow those we trust, because they earn our trust.

The Hebrew word emuna is usually translated as “faith", but it might be better understood as “faithfulness,” “reliability,” or “loyalty.”  It means not walking away when times are tough.  We all need to cultivate this kind of loyalty and faithfulness.  Every student will depend on this far beyond their time at JMC.

Perhaps even more than this however, I commend to you all the message at the heart of our special Christian character— the same message Peter experienced from Jesus.

When we mess up, terribly even, there is a love that does not turn its back on us. God’s loving faithfulness remains, even when we are faithless.

May you know there is a place for you to stand, a place that is trustworthy and unshakeable—a place characterised by the faithful love of God.

Romans 8
38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.