Our name does not suggest that we are owned by St. Peter, or that we worship him. Rather we belong to the Lord Jesus Christ and seek to worship Him alone.
In the Lutheran church, congregations often name themselves after apostles or evangelists to remind themselves of examples of Christian faith and life. Think of all the Apostle Peter exemplifies:
- He is aware of his sinfulness (Luke 5:8; 22:62; John 21:17);
- He knows to put down pride and practice humility (Mark 14:26-31, 66-72; I Peter 5:5-8);
- He clearly confesses, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-18); he knows there is no one else to whom to go, since Jesus has “the words of eternal life,” for He is “the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68f.);
- He knows believing in Jesus means being built into His church of living stones, whose purpose is praising God (Matt. 16:18; I Peter 2:4-5);
- He knows each has received a gift to be used to serve others (I Peter 4:10f.);
- He urges us to love one another earnestly from the heart (I Peter 1:22; 3:8; 4:8);
- He knows we must stay awake, alert, and sober for our prayers (Matt. 26:36-46; I Peter 4:8);
- He understands the church lives in the world (a) to witness to it, and (b) to conduct itself like citizens of heaven, that others may glorify God on the day of judgment (I Peter 2:11-12; 3:16; 4:14-16);
- He praises God because we are people of hope through Jesus’ resurrection (I Peter 1:3-5); and
- He urges us to “grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ,” until He returns in glory (2 Peter 3:18).
The Bible references give you more details on these points, but clearly Peter is an example from whom we can learn much, for he points us to Jesus Christ!