Cut to the Heart

Jon Brown

READ : Acts 2:37-42

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart . . . (v. 37)

The good news that Jesus died for the forgiveness of sins and rose from the dead to overcome the power of death comes with conviction. He died and rose again because not everything was right in the world. We, like our first parents, have followed in the way of disobedience; we are complicit in systems of injustice, caught in cycles of sin, and trapped by patterns of selfishness. The good news that Jesus died and rose again to address those things requires us to acknowledge them. When those listening to Peter’s sermon heard him identify their complicity in Christ’s death, they were “cut to the heart.”

Sociologist Christian Smith, assessing the veracity of the Christian faith in the American church by interviewing the faith commitments of teenagers in the church, describes the faith of teens in America as “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism” (Soul Searching, p. 171). What this means basically is: “Be nice, feel good, and believe in something.” He is not critiquing teenagers, he is questioning the faith the church has taught them. Peter is calling all of us to assess those places in our lives that do not resonate with the person of Christ and to reorient our lives to Christ’s purposes for the world.


Grant us grace and courage, dear Lord, to hold fast the faith. Amen.