A Passage and A Prayer 12/17/18

“But Peter said, ‘I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!’” Acts 3:6
In the animated story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Burl Ives sings the song, “Silver and Gold.”  The opening verse is “Silver and gold, silver and gold, Everyone wishes for silver and gold. How do you measure its worth? Just by the pleasure it gives here on earth.”  Silver and gold are often the goal of Christmas gift giving and receiving. If silver and gold themselves are not given, then at least the price of most gifts could be measured by silver and gold.
The man to whom Peter is speaking in Acts 3 certainly was looking for silver or gold. He was a crippled man who lived by asking for charity from people passing by him near the temple. Silver and gold were his request from Peter and John as they passed by. A coin or two was all he likely expected and it would have filled his needs for the day.
We pass many this week before Christmas who are seeking silver and gold. Some are looking literally for jewelry this Christmas, silver and gold, with maybe a diamond added. That ring, those earrings, that perfect necklace would certainly fill Christmas day. That silver and gold might also say that there is a special relationship with someone who thinks so much of you that only silver and gold will show your worth.
We understand how important that gift and that special relationship are, especially at Christmas. We can’t guarantee that the ring or necklace will come. But, we can offer the relationship itself.  Peter and John had no gold, but they had the name of Jesus. They offered this man not only the healing of his crippled legs but also the relationship with Jesus whose power healed him. The rising and walking are wonderful, but it’s even better to know the One who did the healing. That’s what we offer the world, our faith and the name of Jesus who has already made a relationship with the world by his coming to the manger, suffering on the cross, and rising from the tomb. Here’s the gift, a new relationship with Jesus himself. Let that fill not just a day or a Christmas week, but a life.
Heavenly Father, thank you that you have given us real riches in the relationship we have with Jesus. We don’t have to look for golden signs of your love, but have the promise written in your word. Help us to treasure the gift that we are your people, chosen and raised up by you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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