Friday after the Third Sunday in Lent
While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself by the fire, she stared at him and said, ‘You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.” But he denied it, saying, “I do not know or understand what you are talking about.” And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed. Mark 14:66-68
One day many years ago, I was with a group of people at a dinner who began to gossip and say several misleading and hateful things about a friend of mine who was not in attendance. They attacked him, spreading ugly, vicious rumors about him. They were crucifying my friend right before my eyes.
I started to say something to defend my friend, to stop the verbal abuse and defamations, but I didn’t know these people all that well and, as a person who doesn’t enjoy conflict all that much, I kept silent. On my way home, I was kicking myself over my disloyalty and outright weakness, sad and ashamed that I hadn’t seized the opportunity to speak the truth and to speak out for my friend. Still today, I am ashamed and regretful that I didn’t speak out, afraid to lose my standing with these dinner partners, but not enough to love my friend in their presence.
You may have had some similar experience in your life when you didn’t stand up for a friend or something that matters to you in the face of opposition. You may have had a similar experience in not standing up for your faith and your relationship with God. It’s not easy some days to admit our Christian leanings, much less the experiences and life we have with God as an individual or as part of a Christian community. And it hurts our souls and our hearts when we realize that we have denied God before others. A rooster may not crow, but we know it when hidden from others the life that we know and are trying to live in Christ.
May God give us the courage and the strength to stand up for our friends, what matters to us and especially our life in God. Amen.
The Rev. W. Frank Allen
Saint David’s (Radnor) Church