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Viewpoint from Rev Dan Waite 21/04/2017 

Dan WaiteRev Dan Waite
Associate Vicar St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston

also published in the Yarmouth Mercury



The Bible tells us that Peter let Jesus down badly. Peter was perhaps the spokesperson and leader of the disciples and very close friend and admirer of Jesus. But on the night before Jesus was crucified, Peter denied that he knew Jesus not once, not twice but three times. All that time they had spent together, three years in a group, living and travelling together, listening and grappling in his mind with Jesus teaching, being present at miraculous events and sharing all things together, joined by a love closer than brothers. Then shock, horror your teacher, your leader who you had come to believe was the long awaited Messiah or Saviour of mankind is arrested, abused and beaten. Naturally Peter was confused and fearful and in that fear he denied Jesus. It is a serious thing to disown God’s chosen one, his Messiah
dove leftBut Jesus forgave Peter. No sin is too great for Jesus to forgive if you are truly repentant. He will forgive your worst sin, if you turn from it and ask for his forgiveness and pardon
We are still in Easter week and celebrating Jesus resurrection from the dead, and hearing the joy of his disciples being confronted by their risen Lord. The bible tells the story of his meeting with his disciples on the lakeside for breakfast. Walking away from the group with a repentant Peter, Jesus takes him through his three denials
“Do you love me” he asks Peter three times, and in the affirmation of his love for Jesus, he is forgiven, his sins wiped away. Not only that, but his forgiveness is reinforced by being given a new job. Jesus commissions and trusts him to feed his sheep and lambs, the flock which in time would become a worldwide church
Dove rightWe need to learn from Jesus. One man who did was John Newton, the captain of a ship involved with the slave trade in the eighteenth century. In the midst of a terrible storm at sea, John had the experience of God’s saving grace, as he repented of his sinful life and received God’s forgiveness and mercy. Repentance means turning away from something bad and replacing it with the good things we can receive in God’s grace
Not only did God forgive John Newton but enabled him to become a renowned preacher, minister, and hymn writer – of which “Amazing Grace” is his best known
Forgiveness is God’s grace from start to finish and it’s a two way thing, as the Lord’s Prayer tells us we need to forgive others that we might know forgiveness from God

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