Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ash Wednesday

Tonight's readings were Joel 2:12-19; Acts 2:14-21, 36-41 (sermon text), and Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21.
Lent makes the Gospel even sweeter for us. This year, we focus on several conversion characters from the Scriptures. This evening, we have 3000! The occasion: Pentecost, the Feast of Weeks--all the men were in the temple, in accordance with the Law (so the "3000 converted" may have included an additional 3000 women).

Peter took this opportunity to, by the Holy Spirit, preach the Law. BUT after that he preached the Gospel, when the people repented. The Law: these Jews had killed Jesus Christ, God incarnate, as did each of us. However, this was according to God's definite plan (v. 23). The people "were cut to the heart"--but the only thing they could do was repent. From this Peter went on to tell them what they could receive: Jesus Christ, Son of God, the generous, merciful Judge. Finally, Peter instructed these heads of households to be baptized with their households.

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