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Sunday, June 7, 2015

One Wish...

This morning has been hectic.  We are trying to get everyone out the door... so we can drive four hours... so Grace and Caleb can participate in a piano recital... because community really matters, and when you have a good one, you don't stop being community with them... even if it means the drive time has significantly increased.

I have been stressed... and crabby... and when I said, "Kids, I just need to have the control and power, this morning," I meant it, even though everybody laughed...

And then there's Ian...

Ian never stops talking.  Ian has a desperate need to talk to people all the time.  When Ian has nothing to say, he makes something up.  And in the midst of, "Hey, Mom's using her crazy voice, and if we can't find enough underwear for Miah to make this overnight trip a reality, somebody's head is going to roll," Ian sidles up next to me and says, "Mom, if you could have one wish, what would it be?"

Of course, because I am already stressed beyond the maximum level that I can handle, and I am feeling especially spiritual today, I said, "I would wish for an unlimited supply of money."  And poor Ian was just floored.  I think he said, "OK, Mom," in his "I think Mom just lost her mind, permanently and definitively," voice.

In the brief (and I do mean very brief) moment of quiet that followed, I convinced myself that it wasn't the worst thing in the world to say.  I had already built several wells in Africa and fed all of the hungry children of the world with my imaginary unlimited supply of money when the following verse came to mind:

"Then Peter said, "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 3:6, NIV).

Maybe it came to mind, because Phil preached a sermon, just last week, using this text.  His sermon can be found here. 

Maybe it came to mind, because Acts 3 is the only chapter of Acts that I managed to have solidly memorized for this quiz season (did I just admit that, out loud). 

But for whatever reason, there it was...

And now, I'm preaching to myself.

"Silver or gold I do not have".  True.

"But what I do have, I give you..."

Peter gives the man who was lame from birth, the man who has been begging outside the temple gate for his entire life, the man who has nothing, everything. 

Peter gives the man Jesus.

And then Peter looks at him and says, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed" (See James 2).

Oh wait!  No he doesn't.

Peter says, "Walk".

And then Peter walks away without a backwards glance, because you know, it's the time of prayer, and he's already late, and he's got to get through that temple gate called beautiful.  The lame guy has taken enough of his time.

Oh wait!  No, he doesn't do that, either.

It's the next action that is actually astounding.  I mean, by all reasonable measure, Peter has already done much more for this man than anyone would expect.  The guy wanted a couple of coins, and Peter has given him Jesus and healed his lifelong infirmity.  What else could we possibly require?

But Peter takes the man by the hand, helps him up, and they go into the temple courts, together, having a pretty lively celebration, still, presumably, at the time of prayer.

"But what I do have, I give you..."


My God.  My ability to heal.  My hand.  My time.  My friendship.  My reputation.

"Hey, lame guy begging on the street who I don't even know, it's all yours!"

I want to be like that.  May it be so.

Matthew 25:34-40 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 'Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 'The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' (NIV).


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