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St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles

Today’s feast celebrating St. Peter and St. Paul prompts us to take our devotion from Sermons for Feasts, Festivals, and Occasions: Selections from Concordia Pulpit Resources.

Scripture Readings

Acts 15:1–21
Psalm 46
Galatians 2:1–10
Matthew 16:13–19

Read the propers for today on lutherancalendar.org.

Introduction

Because we Christians believe that true wisdom comes from God, the world often views us as foolish. St. Peter and St. Paul faithfully followed God’s call, and the world persecuted them and called them fools. But we thank God for using these two men to build up His Church on earth.

Devotional Reading

Does it offend you that [we] refer to St. Peter and St. Paul as “old fools”? [We] know it might. They are truly heroes in the Church, heroes in our eyes. But it is a title St. Paul uses for himself . . . and [we] expect that after being reminded of the experience at Caesarea Philippi (when Jesus called Peter “Satan”) that Peter would have claimed it also. On one hand, they might be ashamed of the title. On the other hand, they might be rightly proud—and we might be urged to join them. . . .

Peter lived as a fool, as you know, by taking the Gospel to the Jewish world. Beginning on Pentecost, he proclaimed Jesus Christ as Lord wherever and whenever he could. He proclaimed Jesus as the Savior. He proclaimed Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross and His glorious resurrection from the grave. Peter’s journey ended in Rome, according to tradition, on June 29, AD 67.

Paul lived as a fool, as you know, when the scales were removed from his eyes so he could see Jesus, his Lord and Savior. He proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentile world. We know much of his witness, of how foolish he was perceived until his journey, according to tradition, ended in Rome on June 29, AD 67. . . .

We stand in their foolishness today—persons who have made fools of ourselves in the eyes of God but who have been forgiven. Persons who are determined to use our bodies, “temples of the Holy Spirit” (see 1 Cor 6:19), as a faithful and powerful response to the love and grace of God. Some call us foolish. We are in good company. There is nothing more important than our relationship with our forgiving and empowering God, saying in our homes, in our community, and in our world that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. That allows us to join the two old fools on this June 29 in proclaiming, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16)!

Devotional reading is from Sermons for Feasts, Festivals, and Occasions: Selections from Concordia Pulpit Resources, pages 35–37 © 2008 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Prayer

Loving Father, Lord of peace and tranquility, give me unwavering courage to face the situations that I must undertake. May I trustingly bear my cross, as Christ carried the cross for me despite the pain that it caused Him. In the name of Christ, my Lord. Amen.

Prayer is adapted from In the Name of Jesus: Prayers for Every Occasion, page 18. English translation © 2010 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

 

Written by

Anna Johnson

Deaconess Anna Johnson is a marketing manager at Concordia Publishing House. After graduating from the deaconess program at Concordia University Chicago, she continued her studies at the University of Colorado—Denver in education and human development. She has worked as a church youth director and served a variety of other nonprofit organizations, such as the Lutheran Mission Society of Maryland. Anna loves playing video games and drinking a hot cup of tea almost as much as she loves her cat and her husband.

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