Easter Tuesday 2020
Today, in Mercy, our readings present us with a picture of the nascent Church as it works toward understanding itself in the physical absence of Jesus.
Throughout the Gospels, we see a Christian community forming around a Leader they can see, hear and touch. Acts reveals how that community awakens to itself when Jesus is no longer materially present.
Acts shows us a Church like us. We have never seen Christ, nor heard him, nor touched him. And yet we believe, or want to believe.
In our reading today, Peter preaches with brutal honesty:
Let the whole house of Israel know for certain
that God has made him both Lord and Christ,
this Jesus whom you crucified.
Peter’s message gets through to the assembly, to the point that, when they hear it, they are “cut to the heart”. This phrase indicates a profound conversion in the way they believed. Peter tells them that their faith, like Jesus’ life, must now become a sign of contradiction to a “corrupt generation “.
What might this powerful passage say to us?
For one thing, the reading calls us to be honest about the sincerity of our faith. Is it the core of our lives? Or is it, at best, a Sunday hobby? Does it pervade our relationships and choices, giving witness to Christ’s commission to love? Or is it a tool to judge and vilify those who differ from us?
Now, in these pandemic times, as we are distanced from the opportunity to worship in community, we may be struck by all that we had taken for granted until now. Faith matters. We need it to be whole human beings.
The reading doesn’t demand that we “preach our faith out loud”. It calls us to a much deeper and more courageous witness:
- to be Truth in a world of lies
- to be Peace in violence
- to be Justice in the face of abuse and domination
- to be Servant rather than be served
- to be Love for those deemed unlovable
- in other words, to be like Jesus
And to do it all because we have been “cut to the heart” by the witness of the Cross and Resurrection.
Music: By Faith-Keith & Kristyn Getty