Melissa K. DeBono
Act 2: (26-41) 42-47
Only a few weeks had passed since the crowds shouted first, “Hosanna,” and only a few days later “crucify him.” Jesus life was swept away with the changing moods of the crowds. His public ministry was over. Now, in the days following his resurrection, his disciples have drawn close in a private realm of cherished moments with Jesus, mysterious appearances which have brought them peace and joy. The appearances began three days after his death and then ended in a flash, just as mysteriously as they began.
For the disciples, days marched on from one sacred season to another, and the days of Pentecost arrived. This festive season launched the followers of Jesus into a whole new understanding of Christ present with them. They were filled with boldness that they had lacked in the days of Jesus crucifixion. It was as if Chirst’s own Spirit had been spilled into them. The followers of other dead messiah’s usually scattered to the winds when their leader was struck down, but Jesus’ followers found new life.
Peter, who in the days of Jesus suffering could not even claim his allegience in the company of a servant girl, now preaches boldly in the streets about the resurrected Christ. We have heard the eloquent words of Peter about new life in Christ, and the impressive claim that the crowds were moved by his message. Indeed, thousands were swept up in the furvor of his words, and received a new baptism. Baptism in Christ launched these believers into a new life, but their story also tells us that what Peter preached was only part of the message that he shared.
We read that these new believers dedicated themselves to a new way of life. A way of life that revolved around the Apostles teaching, shared fellowship, breaking bread and prayer. What we have here is a look at not only how people become Christian, but how they stay Christian as well.
The choices made in a moment of decision, in the streets of Jerusalem, at the altar of a church, around the coffee table, at the side of your bed; these are all precious photos in our albulm of faith. But the pages after should be filled with snapshots of learning, prayer, potlucks and dinner guests. It’s our shared life together that fills us with awe and wonder. It’s the shared vulneability that inspires sacrifice and generosity. And it is the life we live together that attracts others. If you aren’t living that kind of life, it might be time to invite someone over for dinner.
No one is a stranger here, everyone belongs,
He joins us here, He breaks the bread,
The Lord who pours the cup is risen from the dead,
The one we love the most is now our gracious host,
Come take the bread, come drink the wine, come share the Lord.