Each Sunday of Easter, we will hear an excerpt or something related to the readings during the week. It is interesting to note what is pulled out and emphasized.
This Sunday, we heard a portion of Peter's speech at Pentecost.
Peter explains what happened to Jesus to the crowds gathered at Pentecost, but just as Jesus has done with him, he leaves the past in the past. What they did was out of ignorance. What really matters is what they do now. They didn't know before, but now Jesus has risen and the whole story is pretty clear.
What should they do? What should we?
Repent and be converted. Don't sin, but if you do, know that Jesus has paid for it, and we just need to turn back. Believe and follow Jesus' words. It's fairly simple really. At least Jesus would probably think so and wonder why we have questions at all.
He says it so simply: "Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations." (Luke 24: 46-47)
Not repentance just to repent, but in order for sins to be forgiven.
Can't we get stuck on that sometimes? Repentance, remorse, regret. All those are necessary when we have sinned, when we have done wrong. But each one of those should lead to forgiveness, healing, and peace. That is the point.
The pain we feel when we have done wrong is the pain of love. It is the pain of separating ourselves from those who love us. The pain of hurting those we never should have hurt. And at the most basic level it is the pain of love that wants never to disrupt or distort our ability to receive the love and attention of the one who loves us enough to die for us.
Just like we heard earlier in the week, the message is not to condemn but to save. It's not about the sins, it's about the return.
Is there something you've been holding onto? Maybe it's time to let go and come home.
Photo: M Ratton