Daily Worship

No silver or gold

James Cathcart May 01, 2023 1 2
Image credit: Unsplash
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Acts 3: 1-10 (NRSVA)

1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. 2 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. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. 4 Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.’ 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 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.’ 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 All the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 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.


Peter and John have no silver or gold, the deck is stacked against them, and yet they are emboldened to carry on Jesus’s ministry against incredible odds. Perhaps their confidence came not from what they had, but from what they made space for…

We often value people for the things they have. Not just money and prestige, but also their skills and virtues and accomplishments. We should perhaps take more time valuing what people ‘don’t have’ too. What I mean by that is something like a simple low-key grace. A willingness to simply ‘be’. Choosing not to fill spaces and moments, preferring to make room for others, for the simple and profound love of God. A showing up with empty hands so-to-speak.

I do not believe the first disciples were chosen because of their innate leadership qualities, raw talent and relevant work experience. I think it’s more likely they were called because they were beloved children of God, profoundly human, who were willing to extend their arms, and open their hands wide to what came next. And as contemporary disciples Jesus does not choose us because of our leadership qualities, raw talent and relevant work experience. He doesn’t require a cover letter or references. He just requires us — with our open hearts and hands.




We don’t rely on silver or gold

stone or brickwork

ingenuity or toil.

You equip us with empty arms

able to reach out to those who need us

and empty hands ready to steady one another.


We don’t rely on power or influence

technology or tourists,

enthusiasm or energy.

You equip us with open eyes

able to see the need around us,

and open hearts ready to move the world on its axis.


We rely not on connections or chutzpah

artistry or skill,

accomplishment and ambition.

You equip us with free will

to be wholly present in our lives

bearers of a free gospel of unlimited love.