Stories have so much power because they resonate on a human frequency. They are the landing place where truth becomes real — where it takes on flesh and blood. Our lives are unfolding stories, and so it’s no surprise that for the Creator to pursue intimacy with His creation, the Word would need to become flesh. The genius of the Gospels is that they land the unimaginable truths of God’s plan for creation in the messy details of real people’s lives. Instead of scientific formulas or pristine theology, God’s Kingdom takes shape in and through imperfect people.

A few years ago Benedict Cumberbatch starred in the film “The Imitation Game.” It told the story of the introverted mathematician Alan Turing who broke the Nazi Enigma Code in WWII and became the “father of computing.” Turing’s early life reveals an awkward kid growing up, bullied and isolated by his boarding-school peers. He seems destined for a lonely and non-descript life. Yet his one friend at school says something that takes root and becomes Turing’s guiding principle. He says: “Sometimes it’s the people who no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine.” And so it was. Through his improbable work, Turing swung the destiny of nations and birthed a new field of technology.

This is also the guiding theme of the Gospels — that through God’s empowering presence, He engages normal people to do remarkable things for the glory of His kingdom. As Luke says in the Book of Acts, He does this “To witness to the mighty works of God.” The first leader of the early church, Simon Peter, is a clarion example of this and a model for us. An average person from a backwater province, Peter became one of the most prominent people in history. But what happened to this raw and impulsive fisherman that made the difference?

On Easter Sunday the risen Jesus ushers in a New Age. As this new reality dawns, it’s like a crisp, clear May morning, when white light throws everything into sharp focus. And although Peter isn’t physically resurrected like Jesus, in a sense he is birthed into a whole new existence and way of being. What’s most challenging and inspiring about Peter’s story is that it reveals God’s great compassion for us. Although Alan Turing was an unlikely hero, he still possessed a uniquely powerful intellect, well beyond most of our reach. But, in choosing Peter as the leader of his fledgling church, Jesus chose someone like us, someone who reflects our own struggles and frailties. You could say that in choosing Peter, Jesus has chosen us. He’s spoken over us (like Peter): “Sometimes it’s the people who no one imagines anything of, who (through God’s empowering presence) do the things that no one can imagine.”

Through Peter’s story Jesus cuts a path on which we can all travel. The question is do we have the courage like Peter to go where the journey leads us?

Blessings,
Jonny