What Should We Do?

29 Apr

The readings from Acts continue the speech from Peter to the people in Jerusalem after he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter is certainly a different person than the one who ran out on Jesus a couple of months ago.

29-36 “Dear friends, let me be completely frank with you. Our ancestor David is dead and buried—his tomb is in plain sight today. But being also a prophet and knowing that God had solemnly sworn that a descendant of his would rule his kingdom, seeing far ahead, he talked of the resurrection of the Messiah—‘no trip to Hades, no stench of death.’ This Jesus, God raised up. And every one of us here is a witness to it. Then, raised to the heights at the right hand of God and receiving the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, he poured out the Spirit he had just received. That is what you see and hear. For David himself did not ascend to heaven, but he did say,

God said to my Master, “Sit at my right hand
Until I make your enemies a stool for resting your feet.”
“All Israel, then, know this: There’s no longer room for doubt—God made him Master and Messiah, this Jesus whom you killed on a cross.”

37 Cut to the quick, those who were there listening asked Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers! Brothers! So now what do we do?”

The description of Jesus is one of power. The whole, “enemies a stood for resting your feet” is a typical image on conquering. It transformation from cross to crown is complete for Peter and he witnesses to the power of God to make that transformation.

So, the question becomes, So now what do we do? I find it interesting that the answer is NOT build a church, worry about how to afford that church/pastor, think up a new way to vitalize the church each year. Because I think that is the answer we have been working with as the church today.

Peter’s answer is different than that:

38-39 Peter said, “Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far away—whomever, in fact, our Master God invites.”

40 He went on in this vein for a long time, urging them over and over, “Get out while you can; get out of this sick and stupid culture!”

41-42 That day about three thousand took him at his word, were baptized and were signed up. They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers.

I think I will work on Peter’s answer rather than the one from the denomination. Change my life. Turn to God; which for me is a daily event, if not an hourly one. Be forgiven and forgive others. Receive and be empowered by the Holy Spirit. These are the essence of the Christian life.

The building is a convenience to gather and support and send out mission from. It is not the crux of the journey, it is only a shell that gives shelter to the real work of the people.

Note: can you tell that I had to go to a Conference meeting yesterday?? It lasted way too long.


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