Acts 10:34-43 (NRSV)
Verse 34Then Peter began to speak to them: "I truly understand that God shows no partiality, Verse 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. Verse 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ-he is Lord of all. Verse 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: Verse 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. Verse 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; Verse 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, Verse 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. Verse 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. Verse 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
Our scriptures this week ring with the voice of the Lord. In Psalm 29, that voice is an earth-shaking thunderhead, a world-shaping storm. Here in Acts, the voice of the Lord is an earth-shaking sermon, a world-shaping story. Cornelius, the gentile centurion, tells Peter, "All of us are here in the presence of God to listen to all that the Lord has commanded you to say" (Acts 10.33). So Peter speaks, and he tells the story of Jesus.
Reflect for a moment about the impact of that story on your life. Maybe the story of Jesus has cradled you from birth. Maybe the story of Jesus swept you up all unexpectedly. Maybe his promise of forgiveness shook your world. Maybe his promise of peace anchors you in hope. Maybe his insistence that to meet and serve the poor is to meet and serve him gives you meaning. Maybe his promise of Life beyond death gives you strength for another day. May your encounter with the Word, the story of Jesus, fill you with the Spirit (Acts 10.44).
Christ Jesus, make us part of your story. Shake us awake and shape us anew. Amen.