Acts 3:1-9

Throughout the Easter Season, the daily devotions have been written by members of Faith Lutheran Church. Today’s writer is Alan Balius.

“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,” Acts 3:1-9

Do you remember the Sunday school song based on this text?  I remember being a little bit nervous that someone would see my clumsiness when we came to the “walking and leaping and praising God” part.  Peter says, “Look at us,” as if to say, “Look how we’re dressed; we’re also poor—but we have something better for you.”  Recall Jesus telling Peter and the apostles, “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these.” (John 14:12)

Note that Peter takes the man by the right hand to help him up.  This is no impersonal event, but a hands-on act of miraculous healing.  Many people of Faith Lutheran work in the healing professions, and they have had a hand in the still-miraculous healing of persons with once-deadly diseases.  They have studied long and practiced diligently, working with others past and present, to perform hands-on healing miracles.  Like Peter, they do not point to themselves to say how great they themselves are, but point instead to Jesus, to other colleagues, to their educators and mentors, all of whom have collaborated to give a cancer-free diagnosis, to repair a damaged heart, or to correct a congenital defect within the womb.

The healed man responds by entering the Temple with unbridled joy, walking, leaping, and praising God, not caring who watches, laughs, or criticizes.  May our praise of God be like his, unafraid, thankful and free.  May our lives be living testimonies to what we have seen and heard—the goodness and mercy of God.

Let us pray: Gracious and loving God, remind us, though the results may not be immediate, that loving you and serving others is our grateful, honest response to all you have done for us.  Remind us to be involved, sometimes physically, in the lives of all your children who cry to you and to us for help.  We may not have silver or gold, but we do have your life-changing love within us.  Help us to make it real in others’ lives.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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