Acts 2:14a, 22-32 (NRSV)
Verse 14But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Verse 22"You that are Israelites, 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- Verse 23this 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. Verse 24But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. Verse 25For David says concerning him, 'I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; Verse 26therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope. Verse 27For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption. Verse 28You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.' Verse 29"Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Verse 30Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. Verse 31Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying, 'He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience corruption.' Verse 32This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.
Where do you find joy? It was the Day of Pentecost, Jesus had ascended, the Spirit came down upon the gathered, and Peter raised his voice to preach—might even have been jumping up and down to get attention. He proceeded to deliver a powerful sermon that can be read in a number of ways. If you read it with joy (as noted in 2:26) Peter’s message is an announcement of great news that could change the mood of an entire crowd. Peter testified that God raised Jesus from the dead, would wipe away any lingering tears, give hope, and dispel the leftover gloom from Good Friday. That same good news, when allowed to saturate our very being, could have the same effect on 21st century people. All the hardships and resulting negativity that winter imposed can be left in the past, and we can joyfully shout, “He is risen, he is risen indeed! Alleluia!”
Gracious God, we pray that your Spirit will bring light to every dark place in the world. Help us see that in the light of the risen Christ we can find joy and joyfully serve our neighbors. Amen.