Thursday, February 2, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Give praise to the Restorer of Dignity, the Giver of Worth.

Prijo Thomas
St. Andrews, NY

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.” 

The story of the lame beggar at the Beautiful Gate is well known. However we tend to gaze over verse 4. Peter and John DIRECT THEIR GAZE at this man who is probably used to being ignored for hours and hours day after day. Not only that, but they ask him to look at them! While asking for alms (gifts of money or goods), the first thing that the beggar actually received from Peter and John was dignity. Looking someone in the eye, giving them your attention, is to first acknowledge them as a person--a human being made in the image of God. It was at this moment that healing actually began in the beggar’s life.

After proclaiming healing over this man with the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus, Peter TOOK HIM BY THE RIGHT HAND, and raised him up. So he looked him in the eye, and then physically touched his hand--what a gift the beggar received even before his physical healing. Peter was simply following the example of Jesus, who did not shy away from a messy person or situation, who revealed in each person their intrinsic worth as the masterpiece of a Creator, who drew near to the broken and dirty. Of course the physical healing is also of utmost importance--he was lame from birth! The leaping and praising that ensued was a result of not only a restored body, but restored worth and dignity. Only Christ the King can give such good gifts.


Lord, we ask that You help us to follow Your example. Increase our capacity for love and compassion. Amen.

The first thing that the beggar actually received from Peter and John was dignity. What can we give away today?