“By what power…”

Acts 3 and 4 share an encounter Peter and John had after the resurrection.  Going to the temple to pray they meet a crippled beggar and heal him.  The power that Jesus demonstrated seems to be flowing from the disciples now.  The two men are jailed and questioned the next day, “By what power or by what name did you do this?”  The men share and are told to be silent and not preach further in the name of Jesus.  But they cannot be quiet and the little group of believers continues to grow.

         None of us like hard times and challenging days.  None of us likes our daily routine interrupted by someone begging or needing help.  The ability to cope under difficult circumstances often draws the question – what is the source of our strength?  How do we find the power to do that which does not seem humanly possible – to forgive the unforgiveable, to love the unlovely, to go the extra mile when exhausted.  The disciples’ lives are a living testimony to the presence of the Holy Spirit guiding and giving power.

         So what does our life demonstrate today – frazzled nerves, too many late night shows, despair about the future? Each one of us faces challenges that shows our inner resources of faith.

         The second theme I see running through these two chapters is the power of community as the community of early believers hung together and prayed for each other and lived out a generosity with each other that impressed those around.  The fear of having enough insurance, enough savings, enough reserve does not seem to be a matter that bothered this early band of people.  These people who did the unexpected and who faced the future with faith changed their world, with out TV or money or sponsors.  Perhaps we need to ponder our lives and look for “the proof in our pudding.”  Let us pray for the strength to stand secure in our beliefs, trusting that the Holy Spirit is working in us and through us to bless others.  Perhaps there is someone in your community that would appreciate a thank you for being there for you.  And certainly a prayer of thanks to God is good.

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