A Charcoal Fire

He stood beside a charcoal fire

He stood and he denied

And then the cock began to crow

And Peter then he cried


The smell of charcoal stayed on him

Lingered on his clothes

He could no way get rid of it

And so his sorrow grows


And then the Easter Day surprise

The Lord is truly risen

But Peter’s sorrow lingers on

How to be forgiven


Now returned to Galilee

Fishing on the lake

Miraculous haul is given them

It is the Lord for goodness sake


And Peter cannot wait – no more

Strides into the sea

How can I ever put this right?

Can I forgiven be?


And then he sees the charcoal fire

And bread and fish a-frying

He’s back again where it began

The night of his denying


And Jesus calls him by his name

Not Peter but Simon John

Let us now begin again

And heal where things went wrong


Three times denied three times affirm

I offer now to you

Tell me today where lies your heart

All love I restore to you


Brian Fahy

1 May 2022


+ A charcoal fire is mentioned only twice in the New Testament writings, both occasions involving Simon Peter: his denial and his restoration. The Lord seeks to restore us always. We cannot restore ourselves. But we can respond to invitation and grace. Simon who is called Peter finds himself being addressed as Simon son of John. His denial of the Lord has returned him to his former state before meeting Jesus. The Lord meets Simon in his fallen and remorseful state and invites a renewed commitment of life. Simon, son of John, is Simon Peter again.

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