You cannot help by love Peter, especially if you are a live-in-the-moment kind of person. Peter often acted first and thought about it later. He proclaimed Jesus as the Christ, but immediately struggled with the ramifications of this announcement. He joined Jesus on the water, but then wrestled with his own fears. He said he would not deny Christ, but did so three times when Jesus needed him.
I cannot help but like Peter. Why? Because I think he is so much like me and all of us. He has a big heart and deep faith, but his zeal often leads to some painful moments. In this passage from Acts 2:14-47, I find myself wanting to be more like Peter. I want to be, and I want to see the entire church, be more bold and courageous in its proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The passage starts moments after the Holy Spirit’s arrival. A crowd had begun to question what had occurred. Some wondered if the disciples were drunk, even though it was too early for drinking. Their questions required an answer and Peter was the person to provide them.
His sermon is a bold and courageous witness of who Jesus is and has always been. Peter stands firm and proclaims that in Christ is the people’s long-awaited salvation and hope. It was the first recorded sermon and Peter used the opportunity to boldly proclaim what he believed and what it meant for the crowd and all people.
Peter said what he did because he was led by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit enabled his bold and courageous proclamation. We do not speak alone. We speak because the Spirit works and through us to share hope in the world.
That is something for all us. We are not naturally bold and courageous in our proclamation of Christ. On our own, we make mistakes and struggle with the right words or missions to love the people around us. When we are led by the Spirit, however, we are guided to say the right words and to be the right church for the people whom we are trying to reach for Christ. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to speak boldly, courageously, powerfully, and with hope, to everyone who needs to hear that Christ loves them and so do we.
What would it look like for us to be led by the Spirit? Who are the people in our communities who need to see the church be bold and courageous in its witness of Christ?