Bringing the Text to Life
Before we get started, note that the lectionary has cut this reading to verses 19-25. We urge you to include verse 18 as well, as it tells what gives rise to Peter’s argument in this passage.
That said, here’s an approach to get into this text:
There’s a good chance this has now happened to you: You’re having dinner in a nice restaurant with your significant other when the evening is marred because some inconsiderate individual (we will refrain from calling him a “jerk”) at a nearby table is carrying on a long cell-phone conversation at a volume level that nobody within 50 feet can ignore.
You’re irritated, but given that people today sometimes become explosive in public — giving rise to terms like “road rage” and “going postal” — you know that it’s probably unwise to confront this person. But wouldn’t it be cool if you had in your pocket some sort of electronic jamming device that would allow...