Scripture: Acts 5:12-26
Key verse: (12) “Now many signs and wonders were done among the people through the apostles.”
Reflection: In the beginning of this passage of scripture, the Apostles are healing the sick. This ministry of healing was so profound that people were even healed when Peter’s shadow fell across them! It is hard for us to imagine this kind of miracle — a miracle in which the sick in body and mind are all cured. Not just some of them, but all of them. This was and is quite remarkable. The church continues to have a ministry to the sick, but we all know that despite our prayers and our faith, not everyone is cured. Early in my faith journey I struggled with this reality. I wanted to know why people were cured by the Apostle’s in the early church, but this kind of healing didn’t seem to be available any more. Why does a good God allow suffering to exist? Why isn’t everyone cured? Tough questions. It’s been difficult to find answers. I can’t adequately offer one today. However, in my work over the years, I have observed something quite remarkable. I have seen people healed without being cured. Over and over again, I have seen a faithful, loving God; heal the heart and mind of those sick in body. I have seen the peace Christ promised in the Gospel of John, a peace that the world can’t give, provide solace and healing in person after person of faith. Of course, when we are sick we want to be cured. And, most of the time, through the miracle of modern medicine, we are. We now have cures for many diseases that couldn’t have been imagined a century ago. But, there are still diseases whose progression we can’t stop. In the face of this realization, we are challenged to live fully into our faith — to surrender our lives to God in Jesus Christ who we believe holds our lives in his hands. It is inspiring to read about the faith of those who first followed the Apostle’s teachings. They experienced the presence of Jesus through these early prophets and evangelists and it was life-changing. We can only hope that God will use us to proclaim the love, acceptance and forgiveness of Jesus Christ that we have experienced in such a way that all people might experience his healing touch.
Prayer: Loving God, there is so much we don’t understand. Life is difficult and there are things that we don’t understand. When we see suffering around us that doesn’t make sense, we feel helpless. In our helplessness, turn our hearts toward you that we might surrender our lives to you in order that we might offer your healing touch to all those in need. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[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].