O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Peter certainly gets them told, in this passage, his fellow Israelites who had prompted Jesus’ crucifixion and now stand marveling at what they mistake as Peter’s great power to heal. “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk?”
Peter takes no credit for his power to make the lame man way, but attributes that power solely to God, and tells them they “killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead.”
Peter’s final thrust is not to scold, but to invite: “You acted in ignorance…. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out."
Jesus says the same thing to each of us. Nothing -- not even the murder of Jesus himself -- can separate us from the love of God.
As a gay Christian, my hope is built on nothing less.
This psalm seems written precisely for our hard economic times:
Many are saying, "Oh, that we might see better times!" *
Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O LORD.
You have put gladness in my heart, *
more than when grain and wine and oil increase.
I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; *
for only you, LORD, make me dwell in safety.
The better times we seek won’t bring peace. Lots of grain and wine and oil won’t bring peace or certainty.
Peace may come even in the midst of hard times. Peace may come even when those hard times continue.
One measure of peace is how easily we fall asleep. We can fall asleep quickly and easily and safely only when God makes it so, not when our possessions increase.
1 John 3:1-7
John back-peddles a bit on his emphasis last week that when we sin we need not stand in fear of mortal danger to ourselves, because we have Jesus himself as our advocate, and Jesus has already paid the price of our sins.
In this passage, however, John asserts, “No one who abides in Christ sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him.”
The Church has often vacillated between asserting that Jesus paid it all and asserting that if we don’t live properly, we will have to pay.
- I strive to do the right thing not so that I can have God’s love, but instead, because I already have God’ love.
- I do not come to church because I am good (indeed, often I am not), but because God is good, and his mercy endures forever.
- I do not knock on the church door saying, “Let me in!” Rather I enter aware that God has already let me in, and if I don’t show up, I may deprive some of seeing God’s mighty work in blessing a tired old queen like me.
Join me at the breaking of the bread. May God open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work
“Have you anything to eat?” Jesus asked. The original disciples were terrified, as if they were seeing a ghost. Perhaps we would be startled too if we were to take seriously Jesus’ desire to eat with us.
Guess who is coming to dindin.