Acts 2:29a, 36-39 - [Peter said] "Brothers, ... Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself."
This devotion pairs with this weekend's Lutheran Hour sermon, which can be found at lutheranhour.org.
Peter looked out over the crowd. Jerusalem was crowded because of the Holy Day, the Jewish Festival.
On this street corner alone, a thousand or more had gathered. But Peter didn't just see a crowd. He saw faces, the lines of which told thousands of stories. Some, he knew. Others, he didn't. But he wanted to. He wanted to know them all. And he wanted them to know Whom he knew.
Jesus had appeared to Peter, after He had been raised from the dead, after He had been crucified, after Peter had denied Him. Jesus wasn't dismissive of Peter. He wasn't going to liquidate Peter like a bad investment. He looked at Peter as though He could read every line on his face and delighted in all the stories they would tell. Jesus had told him, "When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers" (Luke 22:32b). So, when Peter addressed this crowd, the very people responsible for the death of Jesus, he wasn't dismissive. He called them "brothers."
For many churches, this upcoming Sunday is known as "Trinity Sunday." The word "trinity" does not appear in the Bible. However, it's a useful word to describe the identity and nature of God as revealed in the Bible. God is Three-in-One. God is three, personal, knowable, relating Beings who are so eternally united in nature and purpose that they are in essence One. The church devoted three centuries to working out this terminology to say what God is and isn't. And the terms are important, because they say that God is not some thing, but someone—Someone who is not just holy, not just almighty, not just a mystery, but someone who comes with a community, with a family, for brothers and sisters.
God isn't dismissive, like a hermit. God is a welcoming Father. Even before He created all things with His Son, by His Spirit, God was, is, and always shall be the God of inviting community. Baptized into Jesus by the Spirit, we become His sons and daughters, sisters and brothers to each other. And this is God's desire for every person you meet. They're not bad investments He wants to liquidate. They are persons made in His likeness, knowable and relatable, persons for whom Jesus died and rose, each called by God, each with a name, and an eternal story still being written.
WE PRAY: Dear Father, help me to more deeply know You and the people You have created through the Holy Spirit, and by Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Rev. Dr. Michael Zeigler, Speaker of The Lutheran Hour.
1. Who is someone you know who's become more fascinating the longer you've known them?
2. Read Acts 2:14-42 aloud. How do you express Peter's tone of voice in this message?
3. Who is someone in your life who, like Peter and the Jews of Jerusalem, needs you to give them a fresh start in the name of Jesus?
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