From Rev Roger Powell June 2008
Saints Peter and Paul
This month the church celebrates the Saints Peter and Paul. You will no doubt of heard of them but I thought I would share with you something about these important characters in the early church.
Simon was introduced to Jesus by his brother, Andrew, who was also a fisherman. It was later that Jesus changed Simon’s name to ‘Peter’, from the Greek word, ‘Petros’, meaning ‘Rock’. Peter and his faith would be the rock on which Jesus would build his church, even though, as we know, Peter would run away and deny all knowledge of Jesus in those hours before his death.
Peter served as the leader of the first group of Christians. He travelled to the centre of the Roman Empire, and there became the first bishop of the city of Rome.
Paul used to be called ‘Saul’ and had been a Jewish official who hunted down Christians. He was one of those responsible for their deaths, but then has a vision that changed his life, and he became a Christian. Being given a new name, ‘Paul’, was a sign of being called to live a new kind of life.
Peter and Paul seemed to be unlikely choices to help continue the life and work of Jesus – Peter denied knowing Jesus, and Paul had persecuted Christians. Because they are both unlikely characters, and because neither of them was perfect, far from it, we are reminded that God accepts us as we are, with our limitations.
Peter and Paul are linked together because, in their different ways, they did so much to inspire and build up the church. This is what we are called to do to be the people of God in this place whatever are limitations. We shall celebrate Saints Peter & Paul at the Team Eucharist on Sunday 29 June at 10.00am at Ogbourne St Andrew.
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