Daily Office Readings for Wednesday Proper 8 of Year 1
“Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, ‘Give me also this power so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’ But Peter said to him, ‘May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with money!” (Acts 8:18 – 20)
Poor Simon, he doesn’t get it. He is learning about the Trinity, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit but he is trying to fit our Triune God within the paradigm he has been trained to understand, money. It didn’t work then and it doesn’t work today.
Often people will ask me how much I charge to conduct a memorial service or officiate at a wedding. “Nothing” I tell them. Whatever gifts I have, I have from God and it was not given to me to profit from. Full disclosure, many people have found ways to compensate me either by putting it in my discretionary fund (which is not used for me) or slipping money into my coat pocket, or even mailing it to my home long after the event. But I was very clear when asked, that there is no charge for the Lord’s work. This position really makes it easy and inclusive for those who are unable to pay anything anyway. The poor need to know that they are highly valued by God in Christ Jesus.
Our Simon, the money maker, is so different from Simon Peter. Simon Peter and John are recovering fishermen now bearers of the Holy Spirit and doing holy work in the villages of Samaria. It makes no difference what our origins were as far as God is concerned. God took a tax collector and some fishermen and had them follow a carpenter and set about changing the world forever. This world is still being changed. And this change looks promising.
God can do anything with anybody, and this most certainly includes you. This work is not for money but for the spread of the kingdom of heaven.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John+