Week 5: The rock that lives
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Jesus is alive today and wants to follow him, even when others think we are mad and pick on us!
Oh hello. It’s me again – Peter!
Have you ever eaten fish for breakfast, cooked over a hot fire? Jesus cooked me some one day – on a very special day!
You know last week I told you about how I’d let Jesus down – by saying I didn’t know him and by running away when he was arrested. I was supposed to be the leader of his followers, but I’d really mucked things up that day.
But a really amazing thing happened after Jesus died – he came back to life again! He was way too strong and powerful to let death win! Only a couple of days after he died on the cross, he came alive again. Some people thought we were making it up, but I saw him and I touched him – I knew he was alive!
And then there was that breakfast meal a week or so after Jesus had come back to life. We’d been fishing all night and caught nothing. Then this man on the beach shouted, ‘Friends, throw your nets out on the other side of the boat.’ We did, and our nets were suddenly miraculously full! The man turned out to be you-know-who – yep, Jesus! I jumped in the water and swam to him!
After the most delicious breakfast, Jesus did something so gentle and loving, I’ll never forget it. You remember I said three times that I didn’t even know him? Well, Jesus took me to one side and gently asked me three times if I really loved him. My answer was ‘yes’ each time, and I saw warmth and forgiveness in his eyes. He said, ‘Peter, follow me!’ and he also asked me to lead his people. Then lastly, Jesus went on to tell me about some things in the future. He warned me that I would be picked on and persecuted for my faith before going to be with him in heaven.
For about forty days after he had died and come back to life again, Jesus appeared to us and talked to us. Then we watched him go up into the sky into heaven. He was gone! A few weeks later he sent us his Holy Spirit – God, to live in us, to give us the power to follow him!
Since that breakfast by the sea, I’ve followed Jesus, and led his people. It has been heard at times – some people hate our new message about following Jesus and pick on us for telling them the good news. I’ve been put in prison, beaten up, rescued by angels and loads of other stuff. It’s not always easy being a Christian, you know!
Anyway, I’d better go. One last thought… and it’s a sort of ‘Rocky’ message. Remember my name, Peter, means Rock. If Jesus called me Rock, then I think he must be an even better rock… He’s like a living Rock! He died, but he came back to life, and now he’s alive in heaven. You can build your life on him. I wrote this bit in one of the two books I wrote – ‘Come to Jesus Christ, he is the living stone.’
You can trust him. Keep following. Got to go. Bye!
This is another story in two parts in the bible. Firstly, the breakfast on the beach story in John 21:1-19 and secondly Peter’s words about Jesus the living Rock in 1 Peter 2:4-8.
This summer we’ve got to know Peter. He was a bit of a big mouth to start with and often lost his temper. Jesus calls Peter to follow, just like he calls you. I think Peter was like a stick of rock that you get from the seaside.
Sticks of rock are colourful – full of all the fun of the seaside. Peter knew that although sometimes it is hard to be a Christian, Jesus adds colour and fun to life.
If you eat some rock it would be really tasty and full of flavour: Peter was changed by Jesus to be full of goodness, able to show Jesus’ love to the world.
Rock often has writing all through the middle. When Peter because a follower of Jesus, he started to live for him. It was like putting Jesus’ name all the way through his life!
Come to Jesus Christ. He is the living stone that people have rejected, but which God has chosen and highly honoured.
1 Peter 2:4
Thank you, Lord, for Seaside Rock.
Thank you, Lord, for loving me.
Thank you, Lord, that you forgive.
Thank you, Lord, you’re always there!
Knowing, following and learning about Jesus doesn’t end with e-church. The best way to follow Jesus is with other people’s help, and as part of a group. Come along to our Early Church service next Sunday (10th September) or our next Messy Church (25th October) to find out more about Jesus.
Maybe you could have friends over for a BBQ and get a grown up to cook on a fire like Jesus did on the beach. Or you could make decorate some rocks for your garden using paints or felt pens?
(Seaside Rock by Dave Godfrey, 2003, Scripture Union)