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Jesus the risen Lord—for you, your children and all

June 2, 2023

Daily Scripture

Acts 2:29-39

29 “Brothers and sisters, I can speak confidently about the patriarch David. He died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this very day. 30 Because he was a prophet, he knew that God promised him with a solemn pledge to seat one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Having seen this beforehand, David spoke about the resurrection of Christ, that he wasn’t abandoned to the grave, nor did his body experience decay [Psalm 16:10]. 32 This Jesus God raised up. We are all witnesses to that fact. 33 He was exalted to God’s right side and received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit. He poured out this Spirit, and you are seeing and hearing the results of his having done so. 34 David didn’t ascend into heaven. Yet he says,
The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right side,
35     until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’ [Psalm 110:1].
36 “Therefore, let all Israel know beyond question that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
37 When the crowd heard this, they were deeply troubled. They said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Change your hearts and lives. Each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is for you, your children, and for all who are far away—as many as the Lord our God invites.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

This was part of a sermon Peter preached in Jerusalem just fifty days after Jesus’ crucifixion. The contrast was striking. At the time of the crucifixion, Peter feared the “powers that be” so much he denied even knowing Jesus (Luke 22:54-62). Less than two months later, in the same city, he boldly preached Jesus as the risen Lord. Jesus’ resurrection made him bold to speak, not only to the present but for the future.

  • Peter called hearers to “allow the death and resurrection of Jesus to become… the sign of your identity, with you and your children (verse 39) sharing in the new life… turning away from the course you were on and embracing Jesus’ way instead…. that message translates… to everyone in every society and at every moment in time. ‘The promise is for you, and for your children, and for everyone who is far away, as many as the Lord our God will call.’ That means all the rest of us.” * Who helped you live into God’s promise? How can you pass that on to the future?
  • Peter’s message was deeply grounded in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). “[Verse 19] probably echoes Isaiah 57:19. ‘For all whom the Lord our God will call’ completes Peter’s quotation. In Acts 2:16–36, Peter was explaining an earlier line of Joel 2:32, quoted in Ac 2:21, arguing that Jesus was the Lord’s name on which they were to call.” ** Joel’s “all people” took in all ages. How did that underscore Peter’s focus on taking the good news to the future?

Lord Jesus, remind me that to call you “Lord” means I no longer must figure out life on my own. You are my Master, guide and friend. I gladly make myself your servant in order to share the beauty, peace and purpose of your kingdom. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Leah Swank-Miller

Leah Swank-Miller

Leah Swank-Miller is Director of Student Ministries at Resurrection Overland Park. A Kansas native, she has been a professional actress for the past 15 years, and she loves to see the vastness of God’s creation through theatre and the arts. Leah is pursuing an M.Div. from Saint Paul School of Theology. Leah, Brian, and their two children love to play tennis, golf, soccer, and board games.

My family and I are on vacation at the “happiest place on earth.” No, Chief’s fans, I don’t mean Arrowhead Stadium. We’re at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. And everywhere I turn, as if I haven’t received the memo yet, I’m reminded that this is where wishes are made, dreams come true, and happiness is found, all because a legacy was born many years ago. I’m not going to lie; it is a truly magical experience where my family and I are building memories for a lifetime.

I’ve been thinking a lot about legacies lately, how they’re created, and why they last. It seems to me that Mr. Walt Disney knew a little something about building a legacy or, at the very least, knew that to leave a lasting impression, you need to create a community where people are so powerfully impacted they want to keep coming back.

Recently, painful life situations have made me realize that legacies are not left in buildings or institutions, but in the people’s lives we hope to impact for the better. My husband recently left a teaching position at an institution where he had taught for almost a decade. Despite great success in the classroom and coaching, there was no fanfare from the administration or the school. But when I invited alumni students to a surprise celebration to honor my husband, the students came in droves. One by one, students shared how Brian’s legacy had improved and changed their lives for the better. He didn’t promise all their wishes and dreams to come true like Disney, but he had shared a promise that had been passed down to him from his mentor; that they didn’t have to do this life alone. One by one, students shared how they felt loved, seen, and encouraged to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

Seeing the power of a legacy of love in action is life-changing, and it brought me to tears. I can’t imagine many more things as life-changing as the legacy of the Christian church born on the day of Pentecost. Peter boldly declared that the unconditional love and salvation of Jesus Christ isn’t just for the few but for everyone, and that’s a holy promise. This promise changes lives not just then but now and always.

Walt Disney may promise our dreams to come true through the magic of entertainment and memories made. It’s a legacy that might remain even if the theme parks shut down and the mouse never makes another movie. But we each have a chance to leave a legacy of God’s unconditional love that lasts for an eternity. Peter knew this and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, shared it with the world. We each have the same opportunity. How we respond to that opportunity can be magical and life-giving for many generations to come.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Wright, N.T., Acts for Everyone, Part One: Chapters 1-12 (The New Testament for Everyone) (p. 42-43). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.
** NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (p. 9559). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.