"Pete and Repeat were sitting on the fence. Pete fell off. Who was left?" "Repeat!" "Pete and Repeat were sitting on the fence. Pete fell off. Who was left?" "Repeat!" "Pete and Repeat were sitting on the fence. Pete fell off. Who was left?" "Repeat!"
I'm not sure why eight year olds think this is funny, but they do. It takes patience to listen to this annoying joke. Imagine, however, how much patience it takes to be Pete. It must be extremely frustrating to keep falling off the fence. Again and again. Consider how frustrating it must be to be Pete's God.
And yet, God displays great patience with Pete and all the rest of us who keep falling down. We often get more frustrated with others or with ourselves than God gets with us. God knows we are weak and frail and while he wants us to grow and mature into the image of Jesus Christ, he does not expect us to be perfect (that is a burden we place on ourselves). God calls us to communion - to meet at the Lord's table and share in his feast.
Have you ever noticed how many theological words begin with "re"? REpent. REdeem. REconcile. REnew. REbirth. RElease. God knows that a one time fix will not work with us, for we will break it again and again and again.
Telling us to stop falling off the fence will not create change. Giving ultimatums will not create maturity. So Jesus tells us "I love you" and he gives his very life. And as we take his life into our bodies each week through the Lord's supper we experience his amazing grace that encourages us to faithful as he is faithful.
Are you like Pete, fallen off the fence again. There is a word from the Lord: "Come feast with me."