First Week of Easter: Peter - a new man
In the movie, The Time Traveler's Wife, there are two distinct storylines in told in very different timeframes. It's a little hard to keep track of the actions, but eventually they come together and it all becomes a little clearer. Actually, it's only clear after you watch the movie again.
The readings this week reminded me of The Time Traveler's Wife. We have two completely different stories that are told over the course of five days. The Gospels tell the story of the day of the Resurrection. The other readings tell of Peter's life starting at Pentecost, which comes at the end of these fifty days of Easter. It's a striking juxtaposition to see the fear and confusion of the disciples at the Resurrection next to the confidence and faith that comes from Pentecost. I'm pretty sure it's intentional.
Today, we'll look at Peter. (Acts 2: 14, 22-33; Acts 3:1-4:21)
At Pentecost, Peter suddenly begins to preach boldly to the world, coming out of the locked room where he has been hiding with the other disciples. The Holy Spirit has come, and Peter is changed completely.
He's always been pretty bold, saying he would die for Jesus, claiming that he would never deny Jesus, daring Jesus to tell him to walk on water... But, whenever it came down to it, he couldn't quite deliver, could he?
This week, our readings show us something entirely new for Peter. He is bold on a whole different level. He isn't bragging to Jesus about what he will do, he is just stepping out and doing it. He preaches to the crowds, and 3,000 people believe and join with him. He heals a crippled man, and then stands up to the very ones who had Jesus crucified. He not only refuses to follow their orders to stop preaching, but tells them all about what they did to Jesus and how they were just plain wrong.
Now that is some serious boldness.
This is a Peter we have never seen before.
It brings new meaning to the phrase, "The flesh is willing, but the spirit is weak," doesn't it? Peter wanted so badly to be amazing for Jesus. He wanted so badly to stand up when he needed to, but it wasn't until the Holy Spirit was fully part of him that he could do it. What power there is in that!
We've finished Lent and all of our practices that we did or did not do well. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to come and transform us as powerfully as it did Peter. There's no telling where we will go.
Note: As we go through these fifty days of Easter, I will be returning to my regular Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule.