Monday, March 18, 2013

Silver and Gold I Do Not Have

My church chronicles its history based upon the sermon series that is being preached.  Church of the Open Door is known for lingering in a certain passage for weeks, examining it from every angle.  I too, am finding myself still lingering in the story of Acts 3: 1-10.

I think I’m drawn into this passage because I deeply identify with the lame beggar.  Surely I know what it is to live with a disability since birth.  Lately though, I find myself identifying with Peter.  Sometimes when I encounter people with incredible need, I feel…empty handed.  Faced with this very situation, Peter does something remarkable.  Hearing the cry of a man needing money, he looks him straight in the eye, and admits his poverty:  Silver and gold I do not have….”

I think that if we’re ever going to have something to offer another human being, we too must become honest about our own poverty and willingly embrace our limitations. 

We must do this because we simply cannot give away what we do not have.  Being honest with others in need helps people not to create unrealistic expectations and demands on you that you cannot meet.  Admitting your poverty can also free yourself from trying to be someone other than who you really are. 

Let’s face it; we all have our limits. (Ignoring this reality will place you on the fast track to burnout.)  It seems that Jesus himself was aware of His own limitations and when He found the demands of ministry to be depleting, we read in Luke 5:16 that Jesus withdrew to lonely places and prayed. 

Finally, I believe that being in touch with what we do not have makes space for God to work.  Paul compares our human bodies with fragile jars of clay (2 Corinthians 4:7).  God put His Spirit inside us, limited as we are, to show that His power is not from us. 

“…In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

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