On an icy winter day many years ago in Greene City, Pennsylvania, our first little girl was skipping along beside me as I did our grocery shopping. Arms clutched around a huge brown bag, heavy on my feet because our second daughter was soon to be born, I suddenly slipped on a patch of ice. My arms flew out, my legs went up in the air, and I landed squarely on the side of my forehead. I painfully sat up, gathered my scattered belongings, put my hand up gingerly to the side of my right eye, and felt a rapidly rising lump, which was soon to close that eye and turn blue-black. A passerby stopped to help me, but I assured him I was all right and I would go not to the hospital but to the fish counter of the A & P, where I was sure they could give me a lump of ice and I could sit down until the dizziness stopped.

Embarrassment and shame flooded the child at having a mother whose plight might make anyone connected with her seem ridiculous. Running ahead of me she was soon busy examining vegetables on the other side of the store from the fish counter, so that no one would think she belonged to me.

How quickly Peter dissociated himself from Jesus when he saw the Lord being led off by soldiers to be tortured and examined. Not only fear but shame swept over him as he disclaimed any connection with this man whom he loved, and had believed to be the Messiah. The apparent unkinglike weakness of being spit upon and slapped blotted out, temporarily, the loyal love and trust, and Peter was ashamed of his former connection with One who was being led off to judgment. This is the same person who a short time before had answered Jesus by saying, “Thou art the Christ.” It was also the one who had “rebuked” Jesus for saying that “the Son of man must ...

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