Denial: Day 24 of Lent
54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. 55 When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.
Also in Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; and John 18:25-27.
How he wished he’d kept quiet:
and you like a sheep before the shears.
Poor old Simon and his big mouth! Making promises
that he couldn’t keep when the chips were down.
He was so impetuous, wasn’t he, Lord? but he was as loyal to you as anyone,
followed you further than any other
– as he promised.
But he’d been asleep -woke bewildered… stunned… frightened… and tried to follow you.
How he wished he’d kept quiet! The guilt was terrible:
he would never forgive himself.
He only managed to hold on, to regain his balance,
eventually to accept your forgiveness and at last even to forgive himself,
because of the look in your eyes, Lord, as you caught his eye
across the courtyard;
because of the compassion, the understanding, the forgiving look in your eye.
Catch my eye, Lord! hold me by your compassion your understanding and forgiveness now!