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Monday, May 20, 2013
Today’s Reading | Acts 3:1–10
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. (NRSV)
Reflecting on the story in Acts 3 as I am in these days after Easter, I am struck by the character of Peter and what it speaks to us about the meaning of the resurrection. Remember this is the same Peter who in the telling of Luke (who also wrote the Acts of the Apostles) emphatically and repeatedly denies any knowledge of the tortured and imprisoned Jesus: “Man, I do not know what you are talking about” (Luke 22:60).
In Acts, the weak, cowardly Peter has been transformed into a leader of the early church, preaching eloquently and boldly, doing “wonders and signs” and carrying on the ministry of Jesus in ways that imitate his master, such as, in our text, the healing of the man begging.
Resurrection, for Peter, is not an abstract theological concept but the life changing event by which he knows God’s love for him in Jesus Christ and how that love offers new life to him and to the world. That is true for the church in every age and in our time.
As we open ourselves to the same spirit of Jesus given at Pentecost we too are called out of the dark and broken parts of our lives to be the body of Christ loving and healing in our world.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
(from the hymn “Spirit of the Living God” by Daniel Iverson)
Reflection written by Calum I. MacLeod, Executive Associate Pastor and Head of Staff
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