Today's Lectionary Text
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.
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he promised his followers that they would do greater things than he ever did on earth. Upon first hearing this, it felt blasphemous to me. And also impossible! How in the world could we do greater things than Jesus Christ?!
Teresa of Avila, the 16th century Spanish mystic understood. “Christ has no body now, but yours. No hands, no feet on earth, but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ looks compassion into the world. Yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which Christ blesses the world.”
WE are the body of Christ here on earth, and it is through and in Jesus’ name that we are empowered by the Spirit to do greater things by virtue of being throughout the entire world. Each one of us is Christ, and when the fire continues burning within us, we become Christ to every person we interact with.
I may not ever miraculously heal any one person, but I can change a person’s life by showing compassion when they expect judgment. I can save a person’s life by checking in on them as we social distance. I can join in with the collective Church that spans time and space as we continue to establish churches, hospitals, and schools. I can join in on the Jesus movement that has reminded humanity of its divine spark for centuries as we work toward justice in the name of Jesus together.
I’d say that’s pretty great.
-Rev. Melissa Gepford
Intergenerational Discipleship Coordinator
*Photo of Nebraska Wesleyan Campus Ministry mission trip to Puerto Rico March 7-14 used by permission from Rev. Eduardo Bousson, campus minister.
Prayer for Reflection
Lord, remind us of the fire within us. May we burn brightly into the world as your hands, your feet, your body. Amen.
-Devotion inspired by Catch Fire in 50 Days: Joining the Movement of God’s Mission in the World by Blake Busick and Christie Latona, devotional from Jerry D. Smith
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