Peter’s Proclamation

I am on vacation this week. Here’s a poem based on this week’s Gospel reading, from my book, Negotiating the Shadows. If you are looking for sermon help, try here.


Moment of Truth

In that moment of answer
Peter was as sure as ever
he could be.
Did he hesitate in his proclamation
like he sank in the water
cut off a servant’s ear
denied You?
Or was it a moment of truth
without a doubt
to cloud his understanding
a moment of pure insight?

You confused the crowds
with Your words
Your power
Your being
then and now.

They thought You were
John or Elijah or some other
prophet returned to them.

Centuries later the question still echoes
and the answers remain the same
spiritual guide
sometimes Messiah
though not without doubt.

Do You wonder why so many hesitate
sink in overwhelming waters
cut off so much more than a servant’s ear
and deny even the thought of You?

I do.
I wonder at myself
when I think about You
what I would say in response
to Your question
knowing that I can only hold
the fullness of You
for a moment or two
before I fall from the grace
of knowing into the certainty
of doubt.

You lived a new song
and the lyrics still echo
here and there
when we are attuned to You
we might hear “Messiah of God.”
Your words
Your power
Your being
now and then
step away from the crowds
to stand with Peter
in his moment of insight
to tell of Your salvation

RCL – Year A – Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost – August 27, 2017
Exodus 1:8-2:10 with Psalm 124 or
Isaiah 51:1-6 with Psalm 138
Romans 12:1-8
Matthew 16:13-20

Photo: CC0 image by Thanapat Pirmphol

About rachaelkeefe

Hi. I am a pastor, an author, a painter, and a poet. My latest book is available now to order from Chalice Press, The Lifesaving Church: Faith Communities and Suicide Prevention (
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