One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God, and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with wonder and astonishment at what had happened to him.
What type of people do you see on your daily travels? Family, friends, co-workers or fellow students, strangers, people who are having a harder time than you in life? It is often easy to overlook those whom we don’t know, those whom we don’t like, or those who make us uncomfortable. Yet, we are reminded throughout scripture that we are all created in God’s image and we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. In this passage from Acts, Peter and John intentionally see the lame man at the Beautiful Gate and gift him with recognition and healing in the name of Jesus Christ. I wonder how our day might be different if we were to truly see everyone we encounter and recognize God’s likeness in them. I wonder how our world might be different if we shared the love of the coming Christ child with all who we meet.
Loving God, we give You thanks for the gift of today. We thank You for making each one of us in Your image and yet also unique. Help us to truly see those around us today and to recognize Your presence in the people of our community. Empower us to show Your kindness and love so that we might be agents of healing and change during this special season. Amen.