Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:
Today, January 18, 2021 is when the Christian Church celebrates the Feast of the Confession of Saint Peter. The Church remembers that Saint Peter spoke for all disciples of Jesus when he confesses “You are the Christ” and that this confession is the bedrock of the Christian Church, which Christ Himself builds. This post is devoted to one of the Feast Days that the historic Christian Church regularly observed that are generally neglected today. I pray that you find this message beneficial in your devotions this or another day.
“The Confession of Saint Peter did not arise in the imagination of Peter’s heart but was revealed to him by the Father. The reason this confession is important is seen in Jesus’ response: ‘You are Peter [Greek, Petros], and on this rock [Greek, petra] I will build My church (Matthew 16:18).’ As the people of God in the Old Testament began with the person of Abraham, the rock from which God’s people were hewn (Isaiah 51:1-2), so the people of God in the New Testament would begin with the person Peter, whose confession is the rock on which Christ would build His Church. But Peter was not alone (the ‘keys’ given to him in Matthew 16:19 were given to all the disciples in Matthew 18:18 and John 20:21-23). As Saint Paul tells us, Peter and the other apostles take their place with the prophets as the foundation of the Church, with Christ Himself as the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). The confession of Peter, therefore, is the witness of the entire apostolic band and is foundational in the building of Christ’s Church. Thus the Church gives thanks to God for Saint Peter and the other apostles who have instructed Christ’s Holy Church in His divine and saving truth.” 1
The verse or theme for this feast is “Alleluia. Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. Alleluia.” It is from Mark 8:35.
First Reading Acts 4:8-13
Psalm Psalm 118:19-29 (antiphon v. 26)
Epistle 2 Peter 1:1-15
Gospel Mark 8:27–9:1
The hymn appointed for this day is “At the Name of Jesus” as found on page 512 in the Lutheran Service Book. You may listen and sing along with the hymn at this direct link: Hymn 512 At the Name of Jesus – YouTube
Collect of the Day:
Heavenly Father, You revealed to the apostle Peter the blessed truth that Your Son Jesus is the Christ. Strengthen us by the proclamation of this truth that we too may joyfully confess that there is salvation in no one else; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with the You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Pastor Jim Tuell
1 Treasury of Daily Prayer, Scot A Kinnaman, General Editor, Concordia Publishing House, Saint Louis, MO., 2008, p, 1128.