The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
Since the Holy Spirit has gathered a large crowd together in Jerusalem and captured their attention, in Acts 2:14-21, Peter stands up as a representative of the apostles. He begins to explain the strange signs of the Holy Spirit in terms of the prophecies of the last days. God is pouring out a spirit of prophecy on his people. This is what they will see happening as they approach the last day, the day of judgment. And that day, in turn, will call people to repentance. Those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved in his judgment.
The disciples are not drunk. This would not be appropriate. It is the third hour of the day, mid-morning, the traditional time of prayer. They are, rather, filled with the Holy Spirit. What is the prophecy about? It isn’t necessarily telling something that will come to pass. Rather, the prophets are telling about God’s glory.
The work of prophetic preaching and teaching to this day is the very same. We seek to proclaim God’s glory, which is shown in his merciful forgiveness. We try to do it in a way that the people around us will understand. We try to cross the cultural barriers. We cross economic and social barriers as well. There is one God over all. His glories are to be proclaimed boldly. This, after all, is the only way anybody will stand in the last day, the day of judgment. Salvation is by the grace of God, received through faith, bringing glory to God alone.
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