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Love All 


Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”
Matthew 22:37-38.

This week I happened to attend two services outside Holy Trinity Richmond. At each one, reference was made to the Feast of St Paul and St Peter which is marked each year on the 29th June.

I’ve always found the stories about Peter (or Simon Peter as he was first known) really encouraging. To me Peter seems very human and fallible and is often ruled by his emotions: whether these be his overwhelming desire to be with Jesus, which even involved him jumping out of boats a couple of times; leaving his day job as a fisherman; his passionate defence of Jesus shown by him cutting off the ear of one of the guards who came to arrest him; and of course, his fear for his own life in his denial of knowing Jesus.

But the most important emotion that ruled Peter’s life was his love for Jesus. The celebration of St Peter’s feast day reminded me of that beautiful scene, described in John 21, of Jesus appearing on the shore while the disciples were fishing. After a tasty breakfast of fresh fish, he asked Peter three times if he loved him. Each time Peter answered that he did love Jesus.  Jesus responds to this love by using the impulsive Peter as the rock on which to build the church.

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (Matthew 16:18)

We may well wonder what Jesus sees in us when he calls us to follow him. But a lesson that we can take from Peter’s life is that through his love, mercy and grace, God can change us and use us.


Father God, thank you for your love for us, shown through the gift of your son Jesus Christ. Help us to keep following you, even when we fail and mess up. Protect our hearts so that each day we can deepen our love for you and hold fast to the Greatest Commandment, as Jesus told us, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’.

Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Penny Cox, 06/07/2022