Acts 4:7b-12

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

“By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’

There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”  Acts 4:7b-12

The good act and healing performed by John and Peter, was done publicly, to a man who was overshadowed by a gate defined by beauty, in a time when they faced hate and an unprecedented eagerness to eradicate the name, Jesus Christ. Their message of salvation and healing through Jesus still rings true today.

How do we heal in our current state of affairs? My mom was one of nine. Every summer we gathered at my Grandmother’s house and oh was it glorious! We spent our days outside, climbing trees, walking to the corner store and making up new types of games. Around lunch time, our mothers would encourage us to walk across the street to the local high school for free lunch. I remember asking my mom and aunts to join us, but they never would. “Oh, no. You guys go together. It will be more fun that way,” they would say.  Either way, I loved it because it meant food that was not commonly found in our kitchen, different types of people and new experiences.

It wasn’t until several years later when I was in college, that I opened up the local Modesto Bee, and to my surprise read the headline, “Modesto High School Summer Feed the Homeless Lunch Program.” Go ahead, it’s okay to giggle. I can’t help but chuckle myself.

The thing is, I never felt like a homeless person eating lunch nor did I realize that we were sitting next to “the homeless.” They were just people. People who want to be seen regardless if you had silver, extra change, or some spare food. I often wonder if it was a miracle that was performed or if the man sitting by the gate was just finally acknowledged and welcomed into a relationship of love. How often to do we find ourselves buried in our own political views, opinions, smartphones, agendas, work, extracurricular activities and fail to see others?

Healing or salvation comes through Jesus. Jesus promises a Kingdom and the kingdom is here today in the people you pass everyday. In a country that’s divided on the political spectrum, I challenge you to go against the grain as Peter and John did. Lean on the foundation of your faith. If able, open your eyes, say hello, give a blessing, say a pray, give a warm embrace, smile and heal. Heal the hate and the injustice.

Let us pray: Jesus help me open my heart and act on my faith to build relationships and heal those around me through grace and love. Amen.

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2 Responses to “Acts 4:7b-12”

  1. Carolee Groux Says:

    “How do we heal in our current state of affairs?” Mayra, you have illustrated this well from your life’s story of eating lunches one summer at a school with the homeless. In the end you were all just people sharing lunch.

    Mayra, I accept your challenge: I will go against the grain as Peter and John did. I will lean on the foundation of my faith. I will open my eyes to people. I will say hello, give a warm embrace. I will give a blessing, say a prayer, give a smile. I will help to heal the hate and injustice in the world. I will pray to Jesus to open my heart, to act on my faith, and to build and heal relationships around me. Through Jesus’ grace and love, Amen.

    God bless you Mayra for your insightful devotion.

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