Reflections on last Sunday’s Sermon (5/15/22): Acts: Previews of Coming Attractions
Each week Pastor Tiffany Hollums reflects on the Sunday sermon, and includes questions and a prayers for the congregation to reflect more deeply on the message.
Let Us Open With Prayer
God of each of us,
When we draw lines, you connect us together.
When we close off ourselves to others, you open up opportunities.
Help us to live in the generosity of your love,
Being willing to be stretched and ready to welcome.
Read the text from last Sunday’s sermon | Acts 11:1-18
Make note of any things that ‘jump out at you or that inspire you.
'Acts turns attention back to Peter and the disciples. The more that we encounter Peter in the book of Acts, the more it becomes clear that Peter is not the same person that he was before the Resurrection of Jesus. Where Peter used to be rash and hot tempered, he is now showing incredible patience and is listening to the Spirit. Peter takes the time to explain his vision not once but three times, which is a stark contrast to the last time we hear Peter saying something three times as he was denying Christ. And it is into this new age of the church that the Spirit is moving and challenging, not only Peter, but all of the new disciples to rethink the lines that had been drawn saying who was ‘in’ and who was ‘out’. Peter’s vision erases those lines and radically opens the doors of grace to those who were once clearly ‘on the outside’.
This begs us to ask ourselves: In what ways is the Spirit moving among us today to rethink our ideas of clean and unclean?
What are the lines that we have drawn saying who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’?
Were the Spirit to lower a sheet from the heavens and say ‘These’…..who might we be called to welcome into our midst?
One thing that we can know for sure is that the Spirit of God is always at work: wooing and drawing others to Christ, whether we think that they deserve this grace or not. Because it can become far too easy to forget that none of us deserve this grace…and none of us have the right to keep others from that which we’ve been blessed to experience. And that Spirit seems to have a certain affinity for challenging and stretching us, much as the Spirit stretched Peter. We simply have to be willing to hear that voice asking us to reconsider…rethink.
Let Us Close With Prayer
Lord, move your Spirit among us.
Show us the people we consider to be ‘unclean’ or outside of your grace.
Move us and disrupt our ideas of how we think your Sppirit should move.
Help us to be ready to open wide the movement of your Spirit.