Skip to main content

"Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona"

As I've read the gospel of Mark, I've started to see how very real the people in these stories were. The details about Peter's character and personality especially have brought him alive to me. It's easy to think of prophets in the scriptures as higher beings who never mess up because of their superior spirituality. I'm not saying that I don't think Peter was an incredibly spiritual and faithful man, just that I've come to understand that he and the other disciples were human and it's been a great comfort to me.
Peter was definitely imperfect: he got confused about doctrine (Mark 9:5-6, 10), and at times openly challenged Jesus (Mark 8:32-33, 14:31). When Christ was in the garden of Gethsemane, Peter succumbed to his physical and probably emotional exhaustion, falling asleep at the most important time of his Master's life. In one of his most famous moments, Peter denied even knowing Christ.
Despite his imperfections, Peter still kept trying to faithfully follow his Lord. When Christ asked His disciples, "Whom say ye that I am?" Peter confidently answered, "Thou art the Christ." (Mark 8:29). He was fiercely loyal to Jesus, saying "Although all shall be offended, yet will not I." He "left all" to follow Jesus (Mark 10:28) and even followed Him alone to the trial at Pilate's (Mark 14:54). Though he did fear and falter, Peter even had enough faith to walk on water (Matthew 14:29-31). He eventually became the head of the Church and a great missionary.
Peter inspires me because, despite his weaknesses, mistakes, and flaws, he persevered. He truly loved Jesus with all His heart, might, mind, and strength, and had the faith and solidity of a rock (for which he was named). He was weak, but He let Christ make His weaknesses into strengths. Reading Peter's story helps me to hope that if I love and follow Christ, He can turn my weaknesses into strengths and make me all that He wants me to be.
The gospel of Mark gives us such insight into Peter's character because it was actually written from Peter's memoirs. In New Testament, I learned that Peter and Mark actually served together in Rome, and it was Mark's interviews with Peter that served as the main source for the gospel of Mark, along with several other eyewitness accounts. The witness of Peter and many others bring a dimension of reality and applicability to the gospel that could not be found in dry, secondhand historical facts. This drives home to me the importance of writing and sharing our own gospel experiences. As we hear of each others' hardships, rejoicings, and epiphanies, we can become enriched and gain hope and knowledge for ourselves. Keeping a journal can help spread our stories to future disciples, but I think we can have even more immediate results. I've noticed that as I participate in and initiate conversations about spiritual insights, I learn from others' thoughts and become more open to my own personal revelation. Some great conversations with my roommate have started during scripture study with, "Hey Andria, what do you think of this verse?" Let us all strive to be witnesses for the gospel, both by standing up for our beliefs and for sharing our experiences and learning with those around us.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

In which I need to figure out what happiness is made out of

Let me tell you a secret:

During my month working at camp this summer, I think I took my medication...twice.

And guess what?

I was fine. No, I was happy.

Let me tell you another secret:

Last week, I only took my medication twice.

And...

I was not fine. I was miserable. The world fell apart and I found myself crying about things like not being able to eat at Chick-Fil-A because I'd forgotten my debit card.

And so I've been asking myself...what made the difference? Why could I be blissfully content without my medication at camp, if I still depend on it for my happiness back at home?

There has to be something, and if I only could put my finger on it...

Maybe it was singing all day, everyday, sailor songs and whaling songs and songs about nature and songs about fish heads and songs about friends, just letting my voice ring out because that's what humans do, they sing.

Maybe it was always having opportunities to help others, or seeing the effects of my work with my own eyes. Ma…

In which I smatter a disjointed smattering of thoughts.

I think I'm a morning person at heart. I love feeling like I'm the only one awake, like I have a head start on the rest of the world. I love the pink-grey-gold of morning air, the streaks of sunrise peeking from behind the mountains. I love the prattle of birds welcoming the day, the quietness of a still-sleeping world. Unfortunately, my circadian rhythm doesn't share this love of the early hours, making me wired with energy late at night and sluggish in the early hours. So...mind over matter, I guess?

My dear friend Bekah is back from her mission and I'm remembering how much I adore her and her blog. This morning I was 25 minutes late to a choir rehearsal because I was rediscovering her writing. And it was probably worth it.
So this one time a few weeks ago, I was in a band. We played at the ward talent show, had big plans to try out for Acoustic Explosion, and then kind of fell apart.. But it was a good run. There's something magic about the artistic collaboratio…

In which I eat the breakfast of champions

I had ice cream for breakfast today. And also yesterday. And I know that's super unhealthy, and I'm trying to make better choices and lose weight, and all of that, but hear me out. We were out of all of the breakfast foods. No cereal or milk. No bread for toast. No eggs. No yogurt to put in a smoothie. All we had was oatmeal. Don't get me wrong, I love oatmeal. But the past several times I've tried to make it, it has exploded all over the inside of my microwave. It even happens if I take the oatmeal out and stir it halfway through cooking. Maybe this microwave is hotter than my old one? I don't know. Maybe I've wronged it somehow and this is its revenge. So this morning I was sitting in the kitchen trying to decide if it was worth it to make a bowl of oatmeal when most of it would end up splattered around the inside of the microwave when finally, I got too hungry to make the decision anymore and just got myself a bowl of chocolate ice cream instead. And then an…