Monday, December 16

Reader: “God’s power is revealed,”

Response: “and the people respond.”

Scripture: Acts 5:12-16

The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade. But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them. Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord—crowds of both men and women. As a result of the apostles’ work, sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that Peter’s shadow might fall across some of them as he went by. Crowds came from the villages around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those possessed by evil spirits, and they were all healed.

Some thoughts:
The events as described above probably occurred within a couple of months of the resurrection and only weeks after Jesus’ ascension into the heavens. It was a singularly charged time in Jerusalem. You can imagine how stories circulated! Believers were gathering regularly in the Colonnade at the Temple. They were not waiting for Sunday services! Solomon’s Colonnade is a massive open space adjacent to the Temple. It could easily accommodate several thousand people at a time. The word was out, miraculous things were happening in relation to this new faith, somewhat related to the well-known Jewish faith. The apostles held in awe as they were given the power to heal and cast out evil spirits. Have you noticed that people are attracted to the unusual, the powerful, the mysterious, the awe-inspiring? There was clearly something very different about these men, these apostles. The “different” was the indwelling Holy Spirit. There is another phrase elsewhere in the New Testament referring to the disciples that “they had been with Jesus.” When people are attracted to you, could it be that it is because you have been with Jesus or that they are drawn to Jesus who indwells you? I remember back when I was teaching music in a public elementary school. One day, one of the little first grade boys came up to me and, out of the blue asked, “Are you Jesus?” I have no idea what sparked that question but he must have sensed something of the Savior. I just told him I was not Jesus, but I knew him! In this Advent season, I pray that as you move throughout this day and the days ahead, that, like the apostles, people will be drawn to you because they sense the power of the Lord within you. May the winsomeness of the Savior shine through you as you stand in line waiting to checkout!

Music: “I Wonder as I Wander”     Cambridge Choir 

My Lord and Savior, cause me to be a mirror of thy grace, to show others the joy of thy service. May my lips be well-tuned cymbals sounding thy praise. Let a halo of heavenly-mindedness sparkle around me and a lamp of kindness sunbeam my path. Teach me the happy art of attending to things temporal with a mind intent on things eternal. Send me forth to have compassion on the ignorant and miserable. Help me to walk as Jesus walked, my only Savior and perfect model, his mind my inward guest, his meekness my covering garb. Let my happy place be amongst the poor in spirit, my delight the gentle ranks of the meek. Let me always esteem others better than myself, and find in true humility an heirdom to two worlds. *May his beauty rest upon me as I seek the lost to win. And may they forget the channel, seeing only him. Amen.
The Valley of Vision and *May the Mind of Christ My Savior, v.6