You could say it was a big day! Peter preached his first sermon and 3000 people responded to the altar call…just like something straight out of Billy Graham’s playbook!
What brought on this “larger than life” response to Peter’s call to “Repent and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ? No doubt for some the overwhelming guilt of being complicit in Jesus’ death was a big part of some’s eagerness to “get right with God.” But I really think for most, something else played a big part as well.
The events of that day were literally oozing with inclusiveness! In the beginning of Acts chapter 2 the Apostles receive the Holy Spirit and hit the streets of Jerusalem to share God’s message. Amazingly they speak in languages unknown to them, but known to the many people gathered in Jerusalem from around the Roman Empire. From the very beginning of that day people were included in this great thing of God that was going on…included, not excluded.
Peter continued the theme of inclusiveness in his sermon, connecting the power of the Holy Spirit being displayed before their very eyes to the ancient prophet Joel’s words that God will pour out the divine Spirit on “all” people. And then he ends with this, “For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” (Acts 2:38, NRSV, emphasis added)
The promise was, and is, for all! The promise of Easter’s grace…the forgiveness and power that comes in the presence/name of the risen Christ…the promise is for all. Click here to listen to more (April 12 sermon).
And by the way, all means all…all means you!
Your partner on the journey,