Acts 3:1-10

Our devotions this Lenten season have been written by members of Faith Lutheran Church.  Today’s devotion is by Michael Farner. Also, if you would like to join our staff in praying the liturgy for Responsive Prayer/Suffrages just click here.

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said,

“I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God, and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:1-10
Imagine this picture. You are driving home in your car after a long day of work.

You just can’t wait to get home. You pull up to a red light and out of the corner of your eye, you see a homeless person begging. You quickly roll up your window before he gets to you. You make your best efforts to ignore him. You want to help him, but you are afraid to give him money out of fear for how it will be used. So instead you do nothing, and are left with the annoying, nagging feeling of guilt for not doing more.

 

It is not always money or food or other kinds of obvious nourishment these people seek. And you can help them, through nothing more than a kind word, a blessing.

 

The world can seem a dark and dangerous place to a homeless person. They feel abandoned and alone, cast out and unwanted. Sometimes all they need is to know they have a friend. You may not know it, but just saying a simple phrase like “God bless you” or “I’m praying for you” can make their day. Like Peter and the beggar, we can never underestimate the power that our words can have on another person.

 

How do I know?  I have been actively involved in the work of our church’s homeless ministry since it began. And I have grown to understand that the ministry is about more than the food we bring these people. It is about reaching out, and letting them know the world hasn’t forgotten them. The people always seem more thrilled by us telling them “God bless you” or by exchanging names so we can pray for each other, than they are when we hand out food. For these suffering people, a friend can make all the difference in the world. So never underestimate the power of a kind word of blessing. You never know, it may just make a lame person jump up for joy.

 

Let us pray:  Dear God, please be with all who are suffering, especially those in poverty and homelessness.  Let them know that the world has not forgotten them, and they are not alone.  Let the kind words and caring acts of a stranger brighten their day.  In your name we pray, Amen.

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One Response to “Acts 3:1-10”

  1. Lillian Says:

    Absolutely true…that the heart needs us more than the stomach. Have been doing two food pantries for several years and am regretting the fact that because of the increase in “business” we don’t have enough time to talk to each person at any length to hear their stories, concerns and problems. Shalom

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