Tuesday after the Third Sunday in Lent
They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire. Mark 14:53-54
Growing up in Northern Michigan, the action of warming oneself by the fire was an essential part of most of the year. In the summer months there were campfires under starlit skies and crisp night air. In winter there was always a fire in the fireplace or woodstove that was essential to stave off the cold. In the midst of a chill, the warmth of a fire provides a level of comfort that is hard to describe.
Today we meet Peter, in a rather chilling place. Yes, the air might have been crisp, but the situation was definitely more chilling. There in the darkness of unknowing and uncertainty, the warmth of that fire must have provided some comfort, if only fleeting. I can imagine when Peter looked around at the other faces, with firelight dancing across them, that the fear and vulnerability must have come crashing back in.
I wonder what is the chill in your life this day. What is the difficult circumstance, or challenging relationship that might draw you to a moment of escape in the light and warmth of a fire? In face of these moments, Lent reminds us that prayer is a sure place to find solace and comfort. Prayer, like the flames of a fire, provides for us warmth and light, that creates the space for us to discover the way forward.
Take a bit of time today and reflect on your life of prayer. Perhaps it is time to fan the flames a bit more, and bring your whole self into the conversation with God.
The Rev. Andrew Kellner
Saint Christopher’s, Gladwyne