Acts 3 starts with Peter and John and their interaction with a lame beggar at the temple. Peter says to the beggar “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Peter takes the beggar by the hand to help him up. The beggar is healed and shouts his praise and joy to God. People are amazed and Paul responds to this amazement: When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power of godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.” Acts 3:12-16
How many times have I done or said something that I have regretted. Something that is not really me, something I wouldn’t want to tell my mother about. We are all familiar with the Ten Commandments and we have definitely been taught by our parents, by mentors and teachers about right and wrong. Why is it that we still sometimes make the wrong choice? Why has it become more difficult in our fast moving technological society to distinguish the right path to take? It has become more and more confusing when definitions seem to shift. When political correctness used to stand for decency and respect and now is spurned and rejected. When we knew what “religion” meant, and it wasn’t about a pair of jeans. When the line between right and wrong was easy to understand, rather than the grayness that seems to surround many of the current social concerns.
Peter draws us back to the history of our faith, the preponderance of prophesies that foretold what would happen to our Savior Jesus Christ. Peter reminds us that even though “you killed the author of life”, we are forgiven. “Repent, then and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that time of refreshing may come from the Lord.” No matter how difficult it is to sort through the seeming shifting sands of contemporary morality, we do know that we are saved, that we are forgiven, that He is our rock, and our faith community is a part of the compass that guides us.
Dear Lord, help us to look at our life with Your eyes. Help us remember that You and You alone are the compass to guide us and help us to stay firm in times of uncertainty. Help us also to celebrate in our community of faith as we live our daily lives. Amen.