Strength to rise
Acts 3: 12-19
12 When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, ‘You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14 But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.
17 ‘And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out,
“We see Jesus caring for all, especially those who suffer…” From the Scargill Community promises. Image - Scargill Chapel.
In the ‘Summer in the Forest’ film about L’Arche communities, Jean Vanier is at the bedside of Sebastian, whose medical condition keeps him lying down. Many people would rush past Sebastian and on with their lives. Jean Vanier stops, sits, takes delight in being with Sebastian, and is the loving face of Christ to him in that moment. Jean looks him in the eyes and softly says: “Dearest Sebastian you are beautiful, very, very beautiful.” The young man’s face gleams with pleasure as he receives these profound words of love.
In today’s passage, the amazed crowd come to Peter and John because of the miraculously healed dancing beggar. In response, Peter tells of Jesus, who is the reason why he stopped and listened to the beggar, why he truly saw him, and why he prayed for healing in Jesus’ name. What happened then was in God’s hands. The man dancing before them is a visible sign that simply turning to trust in Jesus brings life, freedom, and healing. Peter offers this invitation from the Risen Jesus to all those listening.
At Scargill, our life of hospitality to our guests involves multiple daily encounters, noticing the person before us, being open to changes of plan and meeting specific needs, praying for our guests and sharing the invitation to follow Jesus wherever he may lead.
Lord Jesus Christ,
Author of all life,
You invite us to walk through the Beautiful gate with you.
We know we are beggars for your mercy.
When times are tough we distance ourselves from our own denial of you.
It has not been easy following you
but we rise to walk once more,
Holy Spirit strengthening.
And you wonderfully entrust us
to welcome others in your name,
to pray they too may be set free from shame,
and walk and dance in life reborn.
Risen Christ, we walk with you.