Acts 10: 34- 43
Peter fairly exploded with his good news: “It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favourites! It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from—if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open. The Message he sent to the children of Israel—that through Jesus Christ everything is being put together again—well, he’s doing it everywhere, among everyone.
“You know the story of what happened in Judea. It began in Galilee after John preached a total life-change. Then Jesus arrived from Nazareth, anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, ready for action. He went through the country helping people and healing everyone who was beaten down by the Devil. He was able to do all this because God was with him.
“And we saw it, saw it all, everything he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem where they killed him, hung him from a cross. But in three days God had him up, alive, and out where he could be seen. Not everyone saw him—he wasn’t put on public display. Witnesses had been carefully handpicked by God beforehand—us! We were the ones, there to eat and drink with him after he came back from the dead. He commissioned us to announce this in public, to bear solemn witness that he is in fact the One whom God destined as Judge of the living and dead. But we’re not alone in this. Our witness that he is the means to forgiveness of sins is backed up by the witness of all the prophets.”
Reflection: Outreach Coordinator Lynn McWilliams
We live in a broken world and it is all too easy to allow the darkness to overwhelm us.
The Twentieth Century writer, philosopher and media personality, GK Chesterton, once said, “it is not that Christianity has been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and not tried.” In a similar vein, a friend of mine once said, “Jesus didn’t come to make it easy. He came to show us how to do it!” My friend wasn’t speaking from some lofty theoretical platform but from the experience of years living with cancer, a disease which eventually resulted in her death while still she was in her 40’s.
It is fair to say that if we take the message of Jesus seriously it can be disturbing and provoke an avoidance reaction. However, I can’t help thinking that the alternative is even more frightening. Who, upon mature reflection, would not prefer love over hate, hope over despair, life over death?
In 1 Corinthians St Paul says, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”
Easter invites us to delight in God’s foolishness and celebrate Jesus’ cosmic confrontation with and defeat of evil. It reminds us that God’s love for us knows no bounds and issues us with an invitation to take the frightening and some might think foolish step of entering into God-time where everyone is part of God’s family.
Lord, Jesus, you came to save all people in all times.
Your ministry was inclusive, not exclusive.
You brought healing.
You brought forgiveness.
You said that we are all part of the One Family.
Through your resurrection we are reminded that hope triumphs over despair, goodness over evil and light over the forces of darkness.
Guide us. Help us to bring your light and love to the whole world, to those who are poor and marginalized, to those who feel abandoned or lonely, to those who are subjected to violence or who feel the scourge of hatred.
Lord, open our hearts. Teach us to truly be Resurrection people.