I read this passage this morning, and then (as usual) I said morning prayer. And, because it is Advent, morning prayer included these verses from Psalm 24:
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord
Or who can rise up in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,
who have not lifted up their soul to an idol, nor sworn an oath to a lie.
As we read these word, it struck me that this is exactly what Peter has done in today’s reading – he has sworn an oath to a lie: “I do not know the man.”
It is a sign of Jesus’ upside-down kingdom that Peter’s betrayal, his swearing an oath to a lie, does not make him unfit to serve God. He is, despite (or perhaps because of) all his failings and frailties, the rock on whom the church is built.
Which is good news for those of us trying to serve God’s church today. Whatever our failings, weaknesses and sins, Jesus still uses us. Not because we are worthy, but because we are willing. Just like Peter.