Ever lost something you were sure you wouldn’t find again – your keys, wallet, or sanity? In the book of Acts, after our reading for this Sunday from chapter 15, we lose Peter.
Peter’s kind of a big deal. By grace, Jesus and Peter’s bond is unbreakable. Peter becomes THE leader in the early church. He’s “the man” in God’s Jerusalem church plan. Then, in Acts 10, it’s through Peter that the introduction of Gentiles into the people of God is sanctioned by the Holy Spirit. But after Acts 15, he’s gone. In John 21, it is suggested Peter is martyred. But what happened to Peter between Acts 15 and his execution? God only knows. And in the book of Acts, that’s enough.
This is kind of a big deal for us. Although Acts tells us of great leaders in the early church, the point is made abundantly clear: the church IS NOT dependent upon any one person’s charismatic proclamation, administrative skills, or visionary prowess. The ONLY constant in the church is God’s presence in and through the Holy Spirit, in order that Christ’s ministry continues on the earth. That’s good news, indeed!
Sometimes, we feel that if we don’t save the world, no one else will. We assume that it’s only through our exhaustion that the Kingdom of God comes. Without our work on church projects, at the food pantry, and in our neighborhood, we imagine faith will fizzle out. Yet, while my work for God’s Kingdom is important and given to God’s glory, Acts reassures us that God’s kingdom comes because God wills it.
Faithful child of God, do what God has empowered you to do! Love, serve, and explore your relationship with God. Then, let it go. God only knows what’s next, hallelujah!
See you Sunday…