Read Acts 3:11-26
Read it again out loud
Read it silently
This is Peter, utterly annoyed and ticked off. He’s just healed a beggar, a lame man from birth, and now people are not listening. They don’t understand. They’re scared. Spoiler alert: Peter’s about to get arrested for what he did.
At this time, Peter is still professing his faith, he’s trying to explain to others why he believes in the Messiah, that his faith isn’t blind but it has been foretold. He’s trying to change their hearts, but first he has to change their minds.
Peter is a saint, really. He stands up in front of all these people he doesn’t know, not something I could do easily, and he preaches the word. He preaches what he knows to be true. He preaches about Jesus, about his life, about his death and resurrection. He talks about the healing that can happen, not just the healing of physical injury but the healing in a person’s soul.
“Repent, therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, appointed for you, that is, Jesus…” I don’t know about you, but there were times in my life where it was very difficult for me to believe anyone would want to be near me.
I come from a family that had abuse in its name. My mother was a saint, but father wasn’t. Simple as that. When I was younger, I always thought of myself as Tainted, as someone who was outside the normal barriers of life. I was an outcast. And it took years, decades even, for me to see around that, for me to know that Jesus didn’t think of me like that.
Sometimes I slip into that old way of thinking, and it’s hard to remind myself of how untrue my thoughts are. I have to repent for my sins, my sin of selfishness of loneliness, of pain. Repent so God can wipe them away, so I may be refreshed by the Spirit of the Messiah, by my Lord in Heaven. And that is certainly what happens each time I take a moment, take a deep breath, and relax into the life God has called me to live.