Thursday, February 16, 2012

Act 3:

Imagine with me for a moment.  You are a man, you cannot walk, there are no wheelchairs, no handicapped accessible buildings,  & no disability checks coming in to help you and your family out.  Instead of living in 2012 you live in 35 A.D.  and to be disabled means your family will be taking care of you for the rest of their lives and yours - you have no marriage prospects because you cannot work, so you bring in money the only way you can - you beg outside the temple.

Hygiene is not as important as it is that you make some money to help you family.  It's important that your begging help them, you are desperate and some days you go without food  because you don't have any money and your family can't afford for you to eat.  No money means no food or paying for the simple things - never mind affording to pay for the sacrifice you are supposed to take to the temple for the Rabbi's to sacrifice on your behalf to be purified of your sins.  Worse, is that people believe that you can't walk because God is punishing you for something evil that you did.  These factors alone make you an outcast.

Today is an ordinary day. . . your family or a few friends have brought you to the temple.  Passover has passed and once again things are calmer.  People walk over you or kick you as they hurry into the temple  when two men come walking in to pray by the gate of the temple named Beautiful.

"Alms for the poor?  Can you spare a few coins for a man who cannot walk?"

The two men look at you.  Wait, they are really truly looking at you and not as if you are a bug and disgusting.   You are so ashamed so you bow your head.

"Look at us."

Something in their voices make you look up at them, you can't help but look at them.

"Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."

And as the two men take your hands they help you get up and your feet, legs and ankles are strong, they've never been strong before?!  How can this be happening?   Who is Jesus?  The man who was crucified over Passover?   Suddenly you don't care you just want to find your friends and your family and share with them the good news.  You can walk, you can help earn your way in your family - no more begging, no more being an trial to your family - you might even be able to get married.

Anyone who has spent time going to church as children has heard this story in Acts 3.    How Peter and John went to pray and found the paralyzed beggar and healed him.  This act opened the door so they could preach to the Jews in the Temple about Jesus.  It was through the miracles that they performed that God opened many doors and the numbers of those who believed in Christ grew. 

I love Science Fiction, and if time travel were possible, I think it would be fascinating to see the events from the Bible to unfold.  Watching Jesus ministry, death and resurrection and afterwards when the Disciples and followers began to share the Good News and how the first churches began to grow and transform the world.   I know it won't happen, but the theory is interesting.

I hope you all have a good week.
In Christ,
Maureen

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