Friday, November 11, 2011

Daily Office Reflection: Right Answers

Psalm 8 * 91, 92; Maccabees 1:41-63; Revelation 19:11-16; Matthew 16:13-20

Sometimes in life we just get it right. We don't know from where our correct answer or attitude or response comes, but we know from somewhere deep within ourselves that this is just right. And hindsight proves us correct, making those instantaneous decisions all the more poignant.

Peter gets it right today. The Peter who so often in Scripture is portrayed as the lumbering, doddering and dense individual answers Jesus with ten words: You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. And Jesus, in his response seems to be leaping for joy: You Got It! And then, of course, Jesus tells them to be quiet and not spread the news of this revelation. The latter is for another time, but Jesus' joy at Peter's gut response always makes me smile, for Peter, who has been with Jesus from very early on in his ministry and travels, gets it. Gets what Jesus is at some very personal level, spoken without deep thought or reflection: Peter just knows and says what he believes.

When I am painting or writing, if I over-think, or try to be too technical, when I am done and step back and look at what I have wrought, I usually find that I say: well it's good (or perhaps rotten), but it looks too labored over, not natural enough. For those pieces of art where I allow myself to simply "do it", get the image in my head on canvas or paper, allow that deep inner voice to direct my hand, eye, paint and brush choice, technique to utilize, just respond and do....when I step back, I have almost always been pleased with the result.

It seems that in this account of Peter's speaking a response to Jesus' question about his identity, Jesus is asking all of us to listen to and trust that deep seed of knowledge. To trust that God is in that gut-response, that natural-response. We can over-think later.

Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Art: Crosses, jfd+ 2007

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