Day 11: Learning to Love
Day 11 of the Great 50 Days:
Adapted from Acts 4.13-22: Dear Jesus, “After the man was cured the religious leaders saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus. When they saw the man who had been cured standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. So they ordered Peter and John to leave the council while they discussed the matter with one another. They said, 'What will we do with them? For it is obvious to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable sign has been done through them; we cannot deny it. But to keep it from spreading further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name' So they called them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, 'Whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.'After threatening them again, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because of the people, for all of them praised God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing had been performed was more than forty years old.” Help us never to hold back from praying in Your name. Amen.
I am always amazed when human beings are troubled by success—especially if success comes from uneducated and ordinary people. The religious leaders in the early church did not appreciate any diverse understandings of how God works. Today we live in a time when tribal alliances are just as territorial as they were in ancient times. Watch in daily conversations what happens when people find out someone is from another denomination, faith tradition, or political party. All of the old stereotypes surface. Yet, in my limited seventy years of life, I have found that people who are not over-educated and ordinary, as well as people who worship in various faith traditions or adhere to many political theories, have much to teach me. Over-educated people with fancy degrees and titles are sometimes too impressed with their own knowledge to understand that they do not know it all. It is easy for all of us to slip into the trap I once heard from a woman who worked with me, “I may not be right, but I am certain.” God used Peter and Paul to heal a man in public and in doing so he tweaked the powerful religious elite.
We all require a great deal of humility if we are going to accept the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and learn what it means to live on earth as in heaven.
Can we look around to discern where God is at work in the ordinary people we meet who may not be overly educated but are seamlessly connected to God?
Recap prayer: Dear Lord, You send messages to us through people who are not clergy or professionals, and sometimes the noise of the world gets in the way. Help us to quiet our minds so we can hear and contemplate what we are learning that will empower us to love and live on earth as in heaven. Amen.