Abundant Life: Peter on the Road with Jesus

Abundant life, he says.  That’s what he came to give us.
A somewhat surprising answer, since me and my friends
might have suggested that he had come to bring us abundant
blisters, leading us up hill and down, from morning to night.
Or an abundance of crowds,
or an abundance of Pharisees to argue with,
or an abundance of riddles;
those stories with their twists.
An abundance of days filled with amazing healings,
miraculous feedings, abundant piles of bread.
Abundant numbers of jaws dropping as even the dead are raised.
There is power here, in this man, abundant power.
My old life, it had abundance at times.
There was certainly more of some things then than now.
More fish caught, more money saved,
more quiet evenings by the fire with my wife.
more time with my children.
It felt abundant enough.
And then Jesus came sauntering down that beach,
with his talk of catching men.

I have tried to put my finger on it,
what caught me from the beginning with this one.
There was a life within him that reached out to me,
an aliveness which spilled out so widely
that you wanted to be near him, no matter the cost.
An abundant new understanding of everything we’ve known
and yet failed to see until he explained it:
an abundant connection to God, who is our Father.
Jesus says that now it’s time to go to Jerusalem.
What will the response of the great teachers and leaders be
when they see the abundance of love
the people always have for him.
I fear there might be abundant trouble.
I promise to follow this One,
follow him with abandon,
pursuing the abundant life he gives,
his life poured out for many.

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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