1 While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees confronted them. 2 They were incensed that the apostles were teaching the people and announcing that the resurrection of the dead was happening because of Jesus. 3 They seized Peter and John and put them in prison until the next day. (It was already evening.) 4 Many who heard the word became believers, and their number grew to about five thousand.
5 The next day the leaders, elders, and legal experts gathered in Jerusalem, 6 along with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and others from the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and asked, “By what power or in what name did you do this?”
8 Then Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, answered, “Leaders of the people and elders, 9 are we being examined today because something good was done for a sick person, a good deed that healed him? 10 If so, then you and all the people of Israel need to know that this man stands healthy before you because of the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. 11 This Jesus is the stone you builders rejected; he has become the cornerstone! 12 Salvation can be found in no one else. Throughout the whole world, no other name has been given among humans through which we must be saved.”
Human beings like physical events that show us faith, like little markers or touchstones to God. Through this scripture, Peter tells the leaders of the church that it was Jesus Christ of Nazareth who healed the sick. This event was a tangible example of God’s goodness; it was also just one example that marked a miracle now revealed through Jesus’ life and teaching. Even so, many who saw or heard Peter’s testimony still refused to believe. In the days after Jesus, it would take time for a new Church to be born, to become solid rock, built on a life marked as Jesus’ Way.
As people, we look for measurable signs that remind us of faith. Particularly during this difficult time, we would all like to see tangible examples of life and faith surrounding us. Although this is the challenge and question of faith in and of itself, as Christians, we don’t have to witness the signs to keep hope alive. Fortunately, we have the life and teachings of Jesus Christ to remind us that He is our cornerstone–the solid rock on which we stand!
By Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
Even when we cannot physically be together as we would like, let us pray, read God’s Word and use this as a time of reflection. May this be a way to strengthen our resolve. May we use our memories and any creative ways to connect and uphold our lives and livelihood. As we bear through, let us pray that this will become a time of discovery for new ways that might help us to uphold ourselves, our church and one another.
One way to feel connected during this time is to hold a small stone as we think of Jesus as our solid rock. We can also hold that rock or any special object, thinking of someone we are missing. Allow yourself to think of that person and how we: see, hear, smell and/or think of them and our time together. Call or send a letter, real or imagined, letting them hear your voice.