August 14, 2021 – Acts 3-6
The book of Acts informs us of amazing happenings, here, the man at the temple healed by Peter and John. The people were “utterly astounded” (3:11), and Peter responded: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made them walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus . . . And his name – by faith in his name – has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all” (3:12-16).
Am I being too irreverent to observe, “When Jesus shows up, amazing things happen!” And, in fact, the entire book of Acts is the story of the early church and the amazing things that Jesus did by his Holy Spirit and through his apostles. The boldness of the disciples. Signs and wonders. The disciples sharing with one another. Ananias and Sapphira. Multitudes healed. The apostles imprisoned and miraculously freed. The choosing of the deacons. Stephen, full of grace and power. An amazing read! And the God who was present and acting in the days of the apostles is still present and working out his purposes.
Jesus is the name exalted
over every other name;
in this name, whene’er assaulted,
we can put our foes to shame:
strength to them who else had halted,
eyes to blind, and feet to lame.
Therefore we in love adoring
this most blessed name revere,
holy Jesu, thee imploring
so to write it in us here,
that hereafter heavenward soaring
we may sing with angels there. –Ancient hymn translated by J. M. Neale (1851)