Pondering for Monday, August 8, 2022

Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 14: Year 2

Morning, Psalm 89: 1 – 18: Evening, Psalm 89: 19 – 52;

Judges 12:1-7Acts 5:12-26John 3:1-21

“Yet more than ever believers were added to the Lord, great numbers of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mats, in order that Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he came by.  A great number of people would also gather from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all cured.” (Acts 5: 14 – 16)

This is a testament to the power of faith.  I am a Star Wars fan (fanatic).  In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker’s spacecraft is submerged in a swamp.  Yoda, the Jedi Master, tries to have Luke raise it using the Force.  Luke fails and replies, “You want the impossible.” Yoda then uses the Force and lifts the craft out of the muck.  Luke tells Yoda “I didn’t believe it could be done.”  Yoda replies, “That is why you failed.”  Star Wars is fictional art but beautifully crafted and contains certain truths in terms of our human story and the real power of belief. 

The people, both men and women, who carried their sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats in order that Peter’s shadow might pass over them were beyond asking Peter personally to see them and heal them.  They believed in the presence and healing power of one who was handpicked by our Lord Jesus and who was with him after he was raised from the dead by God. If he has a shadow then he exists. They needed nothing else.  They “believed” that the evidence of his presence, his shadow, would heal their loved ones and cast out unclean spirits, and they were vindicated.

Beloved of the Lord, all the medicine we will ever need is already in us.  Time after time when people were praising Jesus for their healing, Jesus would tell them, “Go, your faith has made you well.” Our faith still makes us well.  And like the men and women who took their loved ones to Peter’s shadow, it was not the faith of sick ones that brought the healings, rather, it was the faith of the believing family and friends that brought them near to Peter that brought about the cure.  And this happened whether Peter even knew about it or not.  Faith still moves mountains.  All we need to do is believe and we too will be made well, or caused to be made well, by those dear to us. If we don’t believe, we have failed already.

Let us believe in the life liberty and safety of Ukraine, our believing and our prayers will make it so.

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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