Reflections: April 6, 2021
Tuesday of Easter Week
By Alfonso Espinosa
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So Peter opened his mouth and said, "Truly I understand that God shows no partiality." (Acts 10:34)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.There are at least two very different ways to take this revelation from Luke, who wrote these words by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. One way is to take the fact that God shows no partiality as really bad news. I mean, how fair is that?! So I can go to all this effort to be a good person, do the right thing, be honest, hard-working, etc., but then God is going to treat the rebel and the bad guy like He treats me? It does not seem right and let's face it: Such frustration can cause a person to stray from God altogether. After all, we want proper credit for what we do, especially when we think what we do makes us better than others.
On the other hand, we might understand that God's showing no partiality is a really good thing. He will still be the God of grace even for us. He is the God who sent His Son for sinners and mess-ups and is still impartial enough to consider me among the saints of God. That is, God's impartiality means that I have a chance to be with the "good guys." It's just important that we understand what makes the "good guys" good.
hese are the ones who are "acceptable" to the LORD (Acts 10:35). But being acceptable to God is not because we accept Him. . . no, instead His acceptance of us happened a long time ago when His Son Jesus,our Savior, lived, died, and rose for us! Indeed, our salvation is not about our opening our hearts to accept Jesus; but about the Heavenly Father's opening His heart to us by sending His Son to be our Savior!
We are accepted and experience God's impartiality through the Good News of peace that has been preached to us (Acts 10:36). Jesus was anointed (Acts 10:38) and that means He has power and authority to heal ALL sinners. Remember God shows no partiality, so "all" means "all"! Yes, it is true as Luke writes, "They put him to death by hanging him on a tree," and many thought it was game over for Jesus, but here's the rest of the story: "God raised him on the third day. . . [and] everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name" (Acts 10:40, 43). In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God, in the paschal feast You restore all creation. Continue to send Your heavenly gifts upon Your people that they may walk in perfect freedom and receive eternal life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
The Rev. Dr. Alfonso Espinosa is the pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine, CA. He is also the author of two books: Faith That Sees Through the Culture and Faith That Engages the Culture.
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