“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15)
It is popular today to restore old things or repurpose items for a new use. Some TV shows, stores, and internet pages are dedicated to this idea. My wife and I walk through a nearby antique mall sometimes on my day off. It’s fun to look at all the old things and imagine what they would look like with a new coat of paint, a different set of accessories, or hanging on a wall. Every so often one of those projects comes home with us or inspires us to repurpose or restore something that we already have lying around the house.
Peter had denied being a follower of Jesus (see John 18). Even though he had told Jesus he would stick by him until the end, Peter didn’t. The shame, anger, guilt, and pain must have torn Peter up inside. Jesus knew that. But Jesus also knew who Peter was — and would be. The rusty and broken parts of Peter weren’t the person he would become. So Jesus restored Peter. He took away Peter’s shame and guilt and made Peter a leader in his kingdom.
We all have scratches and dents from our lives — some from our own doing. But Jesus sees through all that and focuses on the person we are created to be. In community we also do that for each other. We see past old mistakes, and we accept each other for the people we are created to be. In community, restoration happens all the time.
Father, thank you for restoring us. Help us see others as you would have us see them—fully restored. In Jesus, Amen.