Be Peter

Late Tuesday afternoon I went out the front doors of the church to retrieve the chalk and the sign board inviting passers-by to "chalk about gratitude" on the sidewalk. I found more than chalk. I found a crowd gathering. It turns out that First Presbyterian Church is a Pokemon gym, and the crowd--young and old, white and black--was forming to do battle.

"Wait!" one competitor cried. "Can I have a piece of chalk?"

"Sure," I said. And this is what he wrote on the sidewalk:

I asked him what it meant. "Aren't you the preacher?" he cried, as if the meaning should have been obvious to me. I admitted that I was, in fact, the preacher. He reminded me that when Peter and another disciple heard the news that Jesus's tomb was empty, both ran to the tomb, where Peter barged past the other disciple to enter the tomb.

"Be Peter," he repeated. "Don't let anything--a person, a job, a temptation, an addiction--get between you and Jesus Christ."

Today I went out to retrieve the chalk, but a family was busy writing and drawing, so I let it be.

Be thankful. Be Peter. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

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16 Hitt Street
Columbia, MO 65201

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