When I was a teenager I met another Peter who turned out to be a lot like Simon Peter in the Bible. We would become the best of friends, as we are still today.
There’s a scene in John 1 where Simon Peter’s brother Andrew has a powerful encounter with Jesus, and then we’re told, “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus” (John 1:41-42).
What Andrew did for Simon Peter, my new friend would do for me. My friend Peter came to know Jesus in a real and powerful way quite young, and he was not shy about telling others around him that “We have found the Messiah” and, like Andrew above, bringing others to a knowledge of him.
My friend Peter loved Jesus a lot. While many of us typical middle schoolers were trying to be cool and befriend the popular kids, Peter was making Jesus his best friend. This did not make Peter the most popular kid in school. It often had the opposite effect. Peter invited his friends to overnight lock-ins where they heard about Jesus. Many times in high school Peter organized Bible Studies with our friends. One time he organized a large paintball event in the neighborhood woods, and afterwards invited a large crowd of unbelievers into the house for pizza and to hear about Jesus. Later in high school, Peter helped start a weekly Bible study with a bartender at a golf club.
Most significantly, my friend Peter began inviting me to Church of the Open Door where I first began hearing the Bible teaching of Pastor David Johnson which was pivotal in my own spiritual transformation.
Dear Peter Bjorn, I have been blessed with a best friend who loves Jesus passionately, wants to put God first in his life, live according to the teachings of Jesus, and is someone who holds me accountable in my own walk of faith. Such friends are a rare gift today. I hope and pray you will find such a friend to help guide you down the path of righteousness.
To honor the significant role my friend Peter has played in my life, I have given you his name. You should be proud of your name, and the shoes you get to fill. I can’t wait for you to get to know Peter as you grow up.