Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Who do we turn to in times of uncertainty or crisis?  Many years ago, when we lived in Devon, I remember returning late at night on the train from London.  My wife picked me up at Totnes station and as we drove home we passed a young man with a pony tail walking along the road carrying a flagon of cider over his shoulder.  He then stepped out into the road and the car behind us, not seeing him, ploughed straight into him and hurled him into the gutter.  We stopped our car and I rushed back to cover him with my jacket to keep him warm.  He was lying in a pool of blood and the only discernible words he uttered were “Jesus Christ”.  Was it a prayer, was it a form of blasphemy, we did not know and wondered, in fact, how much it really mattered.  This young man’s life had been ripped apart in a space of a few seconds.  Who did he turn to?  Who could he turn to?  Who would we turn to?  In a sense, the Bible reading assigned to this week captures the same question facing the disciples.  Jesus had just been talking about the need to eat his flesh and drink his blood.  Many of his followers found this very hard teaching and some had turned away from Him.  Realising this, Jesus asks the twelve whether they were going to leave as well.  Peter’s reply is remarkably insightful.  He, through the power of the Holy Spirit, grasped the eternal truth that nobody else did.  That truth is the same today as it was then.  In times of uncertainty or crisis there is nobody else we can ultimately turn to.  Or, in the words of Peter, “Lord, to whom would we go?  You alone have the words that give eternal life.”

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