Luke 22:60-62 – Peter replied, "Man, I don't know what you're talking about!" Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly. (NIV)
When I was growing up, my father always finished his breakfast with a sugared donut, often freshly made earlier that morning by my mother and left in the centre of the kitchen table under a domed dish. My younger brother inherited my father's passion for this treat, and the toddling three-year-old would come downstairs early, hoping no-one was around, so he could help himself to as many donuts as he could find.
On one occasion, we lifted the lid of the dish, only to discover that the plate was empty. However, the clues led us to suspect that my brother might know something about the missing treats. "No," he replied when questioned, but the evidence suggested otherwise. Across the table and around the floor of his highchair there was a trail of crumbs, leaving the babysitter unconvinced that he had no knowledge of their disappearance.
In the hours before the crucifixion, Peter denied any knowledge of Christ — three times. But despite his words, the evidence pointed to the fact that he had been a follower. When Christians wander away from our daily commitment to follow Christ, when we give in to temptations offered by the world around us, we, like Peter, hurt our Lord. But, like a loving parent who corrects their child when they do wrong, our Saviour looks at us tenderly, and awaits our return to His side.
Prayer: O God, forgive us where we have failed You. Help us to turn back to You and become faithful followers. Amen.