May 23, 2018

What We Have We Give

Acts 3:1-10

Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.

—  Acts 3:1-10

In today’s story we see the apostles Peter and John going together to the temple to pray. This picture of devotion and community is contrasted with that of a beggar “being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful” and left to beg for his daily bread from the people going into the temple courts.

At busy intersections in cities today, we can sometimes see people holding signs asking for food or money. Though we may wonder if they are truthful about their situation, we all know what happens when we come across them. We usually avoid making eye contact. We avoid seeing them.

But the apostles did not avoid making eye contact. Our passage says that Peter looked straight at the man who was lame and even asked him to look at him and John. Expect­ing some coins of silver or gold, the man looked up.

Peter’s next words would have been discouraging to a person begging: “Silver or gold I do not have. . . .” But then came words of healing “in the name of Jesus Christ,” and, beyond his wildest dreams, the man was able to walk and jump for joy. So he followed along with the apostles, praising God in the temple courts. Now that is Beautiful!

Dear God of healing, help us to see people in need. May our eyes be directed by your heart for others. May we be people who welcome and show your love to everyone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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