- Everyone has to report to someone else! Peter's report to the council begins with their criticism of his inclusion of Gentiles. Peter tells them his dream and boldly asks, "who was I that I could hinder God?"
- Luke reminds us that the believers were scattered after Stephen's death. Barnabas and Saul find themselves in Antioch. It is there, we're told, that the term "Christians" is first used. The term might mean something like Jesus-ites, Jesus People or Christ-ones.
- Was it a negative name? Remember how Methodist used to be a way to ridicule Wesley and others?
- Luke's parenthetical observation that Peter's arrest happened during the festival of Unleavened Bread reminds us of what happened to Jesus.
- Peter believes he is seeing another vision. I wonder how he would have interpreted it.
- Peter's first thought after being freed from prison is to visit the church.
- Josephus, the ancient "historian," also writes about Herod's death from being "quite worn out by the pain in his belly for five days."
What characteristics of the early church have you noticed?
Their commitment to gathering? The listening of the apostles' teaching?
For me, it's the praying. They gathered to do those other things, but prayer seems to have been an essential part of their faith together.
We saw it (again) in today's reading. Peter is arrested and put in prison. The church responds with fervent prayer. How would you described what it means to pray fervently?
When Peter is freed, he goes to a house where he knew the church would be. What had they gathered to do? Luke says they were praying, presumably, in part, for Peter.
How do we go from praying to fervently praying?
I'd love for someone to write our story and have to use the word fervent to describe our praying.