Text: Acts 10:34-48
For joy in God’s Word and the Sacraments
To let the Holy Spirit transform how you see others
IN THIS PORTION OF the story, we see how Christ, the eternal Word of God, binds and supports the Word that we hear proclaimed and the Word we experience through the Sacraments. Some will want to make much of how the Holy Spirit comes to Cornelius and his household apart from Baptism, but the thrust of the story is to closely tie the proclamation that “Jesus is Lord” to what happens to those gathered in the house.
Peter’s declaration is a decisive move, as Cornelius is under the authority of Caesar, who claims divine power as the leader of the Empire. Peter says to his audience “THIS one is Lord of all,” and even as the words heralding the rightful Lord are spoken, so the sign of the Lord’s power is made known. The Jewish believers marvel, but the logic is inescapable: all the earth is the Lord’s and everything that in it; the whole world, and all who live upon it (Psalm 24:1), and so we see God at work to claim those who are his own. Cornelius will have to wrestle with the implications of God’s claim on him in his day to day life, but the story ends on a note of triumph!
Our proclamation, whether in the way we live day by day, or in the way we celebrate God’s good gifts among us in worship, is our participation in Peter’s announcement. Baptism, the Supper, and the reading/proclamation of Holy Scripture are all means by which God works to lovingly redeem and joyously claim his own. These gifts are not ours to do with as we wish, but we proclaim, baptize and celebrate the meal under the authority of the Lord and in good order, so that all may know God’s blessing, care and protection.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks