The Season of Pentecost

Mosaic of St. Peter, the Altar of the Lie, The Vatican

I have often wondered what a full sermon from St. Peter would sound like. In the Acts of the Apostles we hear a little of his preaching on the day of Pentecost, in chapter 2, and a little more in chapter 3, and still a little more in chapter 10 after his encounter with Cornelius. A couple of years ago, I excerpted all of these bits and juggled them until they made sense as a full sermon. Here’s the text. To hear it read, go to the Audio Sermons tab, above, and click on 2018, Pentecost.




A Sermon in the Voice of St. Peter

From the Acts of the Apostles

2:14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.

 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock [8:15; 10:20] in the morning [12:15 in the afternoon — depending on what time the sermon was delivered at Emmanuel].

 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

 17 ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.

 18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

 19 And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist.

 20 The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.

 21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

 22 “You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know–

 23 this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law.

 24 But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. …

 3:13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him.

 14 But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you,

 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.

 16 And by faith in his name, his name itself has made [us] strong, whom you see and know.

 17 “And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.

 18 In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer.

19 Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out,

 20 so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus,

 21 who must remain in heaven until the time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through his holy prophets.

25 You are the descendants of the prophets and of the covenant that God gave to your ancestors, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your descendants all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’

 22 Moses said,

 ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you from your own people a prophet like me. You must listen to whatever he tells you.

 23 And it will be that everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be utterly rooted out of the people.’

 24 And all the prophets, as many as have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, also predicted these days. …

2: 25 For David says concerning him,

‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken;

 26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope.

 27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption.

 28 You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

 29 “Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

 30 Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne.

 31 Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying,

‘He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience corruption.’

 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.

 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear.

 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,

‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand,

 35 until I make your enemies your footstool.’

36 Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.” …

26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you, to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.” …

10:34 Peter continued to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality,

 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ– he is Lord of all.

 37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced:

38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree;

40 but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear,

41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead.

43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” …

4: 29 “We must obey God rather than any human authority.

30 The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.

31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.

 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.” …

2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.”

 40 And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

41 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day — that very first day — about three thousand persons were added.





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