Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Act 4:1-12 (NRSV)
The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.
The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
When watching great movies, there are always pivotal moments that remain in the viewer’s brain for years to come. It may be Russell Crowe shouting, “Are you not entertained?,” in Gladiator; it may be students shouting, “O Captain, My Captain,” at Robin Williams in The Dead Poet’s Society; it may be Clark Gable’s parting words to Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind; or it may just be Jeff Bridges trying to get his rug back in The Big Lebowski. Usually the most important movie moments happen when people decide to stand up for themselves or for something in which they believe.
Acts 4 remains in my brain because it shows Peter and John doing just that. When asked, “By what power or what name did you do this?” They replied, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth…” The power of that statement should also give us the comfort to know that when we do good and kind things, we are doing them in the name of Jesus Christ.
Dear Lord, when we serve others, help us to remember that we do so in the name of Jesus Christ. When we stand up to conflict and adversity, help us to remember that we do so in the name of Jesus Christ. When we are kind to our neighbors, help us to remember that we do so in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Go with God.