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).
Acts 10:34-43 (NRSV)
34 Then Peter began to speak to [the people gathered in Cornelius's house]: "I truly understand that God shows no partiality,
35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ -- he is Lord of all.
37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced:
38 how 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.
39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree;
40 but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear,
41 not 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.
42 He 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.
43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."