The Parishes of Crail and St Ayle
Reflections from Rev. John Murray
Sunday May 30th 2021
Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us worship God together.
Peter and John heal in the name of Jesus
Acts 3:1-16: One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
11 While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made completely whole. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see
Loving God, this time, these moments are precious – set apart from all that we have to do in our lives, a haven where we can seek together the grace you freely give. We come to worship You and to offer our praise. Thank you for being our gate into true life.
Lord, for the times when we have ignored the path that You have laid for us, when we have rejected Your promises of change, forgiveness and hope, when we have spurned Your generous hospitality, For the times when we have been too busy to do the right thing, in Your name, even though we know what we should have done.
Help us to be renewed and refreshed once more, to rejoice again in You. To live every day as a step forward, living our lives always in Your light. We offer You these prayers in the name of Jesus, our saviour who lived and died for us: Amen.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as in heaven,
Give us today our daily bread,
Forgive us our sins,
As we forgive those who sin against us,
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil,
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and forever.
Crippling things: Jesus is the Gate into new life.
The beggar was crippled – but was living his life where his location, desire and satisfaction were all centred around his ‘lack’ and his ‘needs’ as he perceived them. In that way he was ‘wise’ by positioning himself in what he thought was a ‘good place’: at the Beautiful Gate where well-to-do people entered the temple.
It’s easy for us to position ourselves in our minds in a place where we think our needs can be met, and like the beggar to think askew: that our deep need (to be healed) is not a possibility, and our whole life is directed to what we think can alleviate our situation; which is often money and the things money can give.
And to that beggar came Peter and John. But they also brought Jesus. And in the name of Jesus, they gave him more than he was bargaining for: a healing to the deep need. And instead of a £ in his pocket he got a gift that uplifted him, got him to stand up straight, and had him jumping and praising God. And he got to a place where he could only dream of getting. May it be so for us.
This little story has so much for us to ponder.
Prayer: Lord Jesus your followers gave to your children something more powerful and more valuable than riches. They gave healing and hope. Bring healing and hope into our world and show us evidence of your presence in our lives.
Prayers for the world
We are a world that is desperate for You, God. When powers struggle for dominance, and war, oppression and abuse result; When groups of people oppose one another because of ideology, religion or culture; We need a God who is bigger than ourselves, and our personal interests: where money and wealth are coveted more than fairness and right conduct, we need a God who offers us more than we often seek: we pray for lives to be given your space to live and prosper.
When people are disregarded and devalued because of poverty, geography or disease; When compassion and justice is withheld to some because of sexuality, race or gender; We need a Saviour who is more compassionate than we are who includes even those we would exclude.
When resources are mismanaged and abused, and the world and its creatures are destroyed; when motivation is scarce and creativity is in short supply to address the challenges that we face; We need a Spirit who is more powerful and more creative than we could ever be. Lord we pray for your Spirit to bring healing to lives crippled in so many ways.
Lord God, Loving Saviour, Empowering Spirit, we offer You these prayers because we need You so desperately. Captivate us, call us and fill us, that we may be carriers of Your eternal life to this world that You love so dearly. Amen.
Jesus offers complete wholeness. Believing in Him and in the power of His name is the way to wholeness now as it was then.
May God’s grace always enfold you. May Jesus’ compassion always nourish you. May the Spirit’s imagination always find a home in you. And the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, and the wealth of the Holy Spirit, be with us all, evermore.