It is impossible for me to read these words found in Acts 3 without remembering so vividly an experience from my pastoral past. I had served a very active church located in a small rural town not far from the city of Canton, OH., while at the same time, I attended classes to earn the Doctor of Ministry degree through Drew University of Madison, N. J. The membership of this church was made up of mostly young to middle age professional people, with a smaller core of active fulltime farmers. Well, after a little over five years of faithful service to this fine church located in a beautiful hilly portion of the State of Ohio, the thought came to me that it may be time to look into a possible move, if it be God’s will.. Right or wrong I felt it may be time to see where God would direct me and my family as we continue to serve His Kingdom, right here on earth.
Through the pastoral search process, Gladys and I along with three of our five children found ourselves called to serve First Reformed Church in Hamilton, Oh. The church was located in the lovely residential area of the city but was on the verge of change. Well, when it came time to preach my first sermon at now my new community of faith, what should I preach? I was led to read from Acts 3, the story of what Peter had told the paralytic, “I have no silver or gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.”
I had the strong feeling this is exactly what I should preach to these faithful people. My thinking was and continues to be, now as your new minister, I cannot do any miracles by myself, but together in Christ and His church, we can do whatever we need to do as we care for the needs of all people, in Jesus’ name.
Heavenly Father, we are grateful that we have been chosen to serve Your Kingdom, may all that we do bring glory to Your name. In Your Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we pray for Your blessings as we serve in Your Name. Amen.