As I read this week's gospel passage, from Matthew, a Ben Harper song found its way into my head. See, Jesus asks the disciples about who they see when they look at him. Simon Peter answers well: that he is the Messiah, the Son of God. Through God's help, he's able to see Jesus as he is. He gets a picture of what this guy he's been following really means.
I suspect we all have images of who Jesus is, and what he might look like in our own time. I have a long list of things he'd confront, people he'd help heal, and ways he'd share grace. (I even have a few ideas about things he might challenge us religious leaders on, but sometimes that gets a little scary, so I won't say too much...)
As the passage continues, Jesus also gives Simon Peter a new picture of his identity: that he's a rock on which the Jesus' church will be built.
Now, when I read this alongside the lesson from Paul's letter to the Romans, a question came to mind. I'm not sure it'll make sure in anyone's mind but mine, but, just in case you find in provocative, I share it here:
If Peter is the rock on which the church is built and which we are a part of giving form to, how do we keep resisting mere conformity to the world, and push for transformation? Rocks and transformation don't often fit together in my imagination. Either you're rock solid, or your poised for change, but how do you be both?