Scripture - Acts 3:12 - When Peter saw this, he said to them
Theme - Testimony, Speaking the Truth
Devotion - What a tranformation we have witnessed in few weeks. After Jesus' arrest in the Garden, Peter goes from a fearful inability to speak, to now standing before crowds with the courage to say things he knows that they will probably not want to hear.
It is important for us to realize two things. First, that Peter DOES actually tell the crowds a story that lifts them up and gives them hope. In urging the crowd to repent and turn from sin Peter was telling them the good story of God's long and loving work of liberating Israel from insecurity and oppression. He reminds them of God watching over them and has promised to never abandon them. There is hope in Peter's sermon and the memory of God's love made visible in many times and places previously.
But Peter couples that hopeful message with the testimony of his own trauma. These crowds, who had presumably been complicit in Jesus' crucifixion have moved on with life in the comfort of thinking they were justified, that their rejection of Jesus was logical, reasonable, even moral. Peter has come to tell his story of pain and loss which reveals the lie the crowds have accepted. Peter narrates Jesus painful death, so that the crowds can see how they have been manipulated by corrupt political and religious leaders. And he reveals that Jesus was the loving presence of God with them. The liberating impulse of God made human.
In Peter's speech we hear the origins of our vocation as disciples and a church. We are those who speak honestly but truthfully of pain and loss, of injustice and violence. We amplify the voices of those who are too often dismissed or unheard. It is an intimidating call we have heard and joined. But it is also life-affirming to feel that we have been heard, and empowering to be a community that listens to the truth that is often ignored and unheard.
Prayer - Help us to boldly proclaim the good news Lord, but always keep that proclamation rooted in the humility of speaking with and for those who are dismissed and unheard. Help us to amplify their stories even when that is unpopular. Teach us how to listen to the abused first and foremost for in their story we hear the story of Jesus.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.