It takes Peter and the other apostles a while to truly understand the breadth and scope of God’s saving grace.
Baptism is more than “just” a washing away of sin. It’s more than just a means of grace, through which God brings us wholeness, fullness of life, and forgiveness, if “just” is a word that could be used to describe all of those things.
Outsiders worry us. They disturb us. They disrupt our sense of order and the way things should be. They are dangerous. They don't like us and want us to change. Can you believe that?
It seems to me that there's a natural human instinct to look at our lives, to see all the ways in which it doesn't make us fulfilled, and to say, “If only...”
It's never really been a secret that we live in a messed up, broken, constantly-changing world: just look at this week. And we know God is out there! We tell ourselves that every week, or even every day. But slowly, God's abiding presence goes unnoticed, pushed away and covered by everything else happening in life. Where is God when a gunman massacres people in a church? Where is God when anger and hate get in the way of love? It can feel like God isn't present at all.