Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on April 22, 2014.
Prayer: Help us to find ways to be like Peter, God. Amen.
Reading: Acts 2:14a, 22-32 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: I’ve always thought Peter was an interesting character. Last week, he was by Jesus’ side, then he fell asleep, and eventually he denied Jesus three times. This week, we read this story from Acts, when Peter declares the resurrection of Christ and attests to the things he has seen.
Contrast Peter to Thomas. Thomas doubted that Jesus was Jesus when he appeared to the disciples. He needed physical proof. In our reading today, we hear Peter say, “Listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.” I imagine Peter speaking emphatically about these things he saw.
And yet, remember Peter’s denial. Some could say that God could have easily turned away from Peter, who denied him before the rooster crowed three times. But instead, God gave Peter another chance and used Peter to build God’s church. I think this week is a good week to look beyond our doubting and our denying and see how God might be using us in new and exciting ways. In our Bible stories, we wait to see what God will do next after Jesus’ death. Today, I remind us that God is doing the same thing in our lives today. –Chad Hershberger
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