I love driving and have driven almost every kind of car there is. I was privileged as a young man to drive a friend`s Porsche 911; and consider myself not only to be a good driver, but a safe one. So you can imagine my dismay and frustration when for almost a decade my father-in-law refused to let me drive his car. It`s not that I liked his car. It was simply that I did not understand why he did not trust me with his prize possession.
One day. I do not know what happened. Whether my father-in-law hit his head or got out of the wrong side of the bed. But he handed me the keys to the car, and asked me to drive him to a pre-arranged destination. We did not speak as I drove. But I do remember doing everything so right, so precise. The use of my indicators, looking into the mirrors; I was the model driver. I so wanted my father-in-law to know that he could trust me with the keys to his car.
In Matthew 16, Jesus is enquiring of his disciples about do they know exactly who he is. He has been with them for three years, Jesus is now checking whether they understand his mission and the reason for him coming to Earth. As Jesus asks the disciples, it would seem they were confused and still mystified as to exactly Jesus` objectives. But then Peter has a breakthrough. He gets it. He knows that Jesus is the Messiah. And it is within this moment that Jesus, in response to this proclamation says to the disciples that I am going to give you the keys. I am going to trust you with my church. This is the vehicle I am choosing to proclaim and execute the mission of grace, forgiveness, and mercy on this planet. And yes, though it is my construct I am trusting you to drive my most prize possession.
One last thing, as I drove my father-in-law around on numerous other occasions, he kept smiling, somehow he was content as I was driving. No panic. No passenger-led instructions. He trusted me. And I believe you have the ability to make God smile too, as he trusts you with the keys to his church.
~ Paul King-Brown, Pastor