For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him. (Acts 2:39, NRSV)
This verse is part of Peter’s bold proclamation to his fellow Jews on the day of Pentecost. His proclamation was that Jesus was, indeed, by the God of Israel’s actions, the long awaited Messiah! They were flabbergasted! Had they actually contributed to the killing of Messiah? What should they do? Peter tells them to repent, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter did not tell them that they were condemned for all time, that their culture and system of beliefs were suddenly invalid, and that all they knew and trusted of the God of Israel was wrong. What he did say was that the God of Israel had made Jesus both Lord and Messiah, no questions asked, no permission sought to do so. Furthermore, this becomes the promise fulfilled for “…everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” Who is EVERYONE? We are some of the EVERYONE, and we are included in that promise! The qualifications are all God’s—he chooses, we are chosen.
Lord our God, make us to know that we are chosen, and that chosen-ness is for everyone, for all time. In the name of Messiah who chooses, we pray, Amen.
– Mary Parrish, St. Thomas Episcopal Church