By the old temple gate
lay a poor crippled man,
forced to beg
for the daily needs of life.
He was lame from his birth
with no hope to be healed
until Peter and John came to pray.
Those two friends of the Lord
saw the man lying there
and were filled with compassion and love.
They had no money to share,
so Peter reached out his hand
and gave him the best that they had.
“I have no silver, no gold,
but I give you what I have –
in the Name of Jesus, stand up and walk!
Take this gift of new life
and proclaim to all the world
that the Name of the Lord has set you free!”
By the old temple gate
stands a man strong and free,
singing praise to the Name of the Lord!
The man crippled from birth who is cured by Peter and John as they enter the temple precincts after Pentecost is an important figure in our readings for the last four days of Easter Week. Crippled from birth, over 40 years old, he’s carried to the gate of the temple each day to beg for alms. Everyone knows him, he’s a regular.
After he’s cured he goes into the temple to hear Peter’s message to the crowd about Jesus of Nazareth. As he stands there, relishing his cure, he’s a sign God’s power is a work. Can we see him becoming a believer? The temple leaders, on the other hand, find him an annoying presence whom they try to silence.
How can he be explained away?
The man was surely at Peter’s side when he spoke to the people in the temple area. Just as miracles accompanied the teaching of Jesus, so now they will accompany the teaching church. We have to expect signs like this, that raise up the poor, to be part of the church’s witness, especially in an unbelieving age.
What other signs can we see in Peter’s words to the crowd as he witnesses to the Resurrection? He points to the tomb of Jesus, in contrast to David’s tomb. It’s empty. We have to keep the holy places associated with Jesus as part of our witness. He points to the scriptures. We have to keep reflecting on them to enrich our witness. His message is overwhelming a message of forgiveness. Mercy and forgiveness should be our witness too.
Words are not the only way we witness the Resurrection of Jesus.
Morning and Evening Prayer. Sunday, Week 1 http://www.praydaybyday.org
Children’s prayers here.
Gloria. Your small poem is beautiful. Happy Birthday from Harry & Irma
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