Scripture: Acts 3:1-10
Key verses: (4-6) 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. But 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.”
Reflection: Peter and John encountered a lame man who laid at the temple gate asking for charity. The author makes a point to tell us that Peter and John looked intently at the man. And Peter asked him to look at them. Looking at one another is powerful! Research shows that sharing into a person’s eyes for two minutes can provoke strong emotion. When you look someone directly in the eyes, their body produces a chemical called phenylethylamine that may make the person feel in love. The intense emotional response is also very similar to fear. Another scientist found that people look at each other only 30-60% of the time when talking. We look down at the ground, we stare up at the sky, we examine our hands or our pencil.
Who are you looking at today? And when do you find yourself averting your eyes? Imagine the courage for Peter and John to look intently at the man beside the gate. Many of us would look away, especially if we knew we had no money to give. We avoid eye contact when we are anxious or frightened. Looking at someone carefully feels vulnerable and intimate.
Peter offered the man what he had, the gift of Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus is the incarnation of God, God’s choice to become embodied as a human being. God chose to be vulnerable and intimate. In Jesus Christ, God chose to look at us closely. Let us offer the gift of Jesus to those around us by looking at them and not turning away.
Prayer: O God, give me the courage I need to face the world around me with open eyes. Give me the courage I need to look at those around me and see your image in them. Give me the courage I need to be vulnerable and intimate. Give me the courage I need to offer Jesus Christ to those who need him. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].