Today's Lectionary Text
Scripture: Acts 10:34-48Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
“We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So, he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
Reflect: In your heart do you know and believe that God shows no partiality?
What needs to change in your life and church to make God gospel more accessible to those who would assume that Christ (or your faithful community) was “not for them”?
How has the Holy Spirit surprised you recently?
The scripture tells me that the Spirit blows where it will.
If that is true, then we don't command, call, beckon or create the Spirit.
“While Peter was still speaking…” it may have been like the baby who cries just before your brilliant closing
sentence. Distraction? Emphasis? The real point?
What is my role? Am I a witness.
I report what I see. “You again!” as the writer Ann Dillard phrases it.
It is not my job to screen the audience it is my job to tell the truth as best I can. To report the awe and wonder. To nod towards the mystery poet. To weep at the beauty.
It is my job to hear the witness of others, as well. Who knows - while there still speaking, the Spirit might just drop by and stay awhile.
By Ted Virits
Prayer for Reflection
That your faith community an all faith communities will not only welcome there “Corneliuses” of the world but will go to where they live in order to do so.
“Excerpted from the book “Catch Fire in 50 Days: Joining the Movement of God’s Mission in the World” by Blake Busick and Christie Latona.”
This Week's Lectionary
This Week's Liturgical Color