One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. 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.” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.
Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God, and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Words of Hope
This story resonates with me as I see so many homeless and sick people on street corners looking for handouts. I notice that Peter and John do not give the man a handout, but a hand-up. They heal him and set him on a road to recovery.
That’s why I am so impressed with a group in New York City. Girl Scout Troop 6000. A Girl Scout group composed strictly of girls from homeless shelters in the city. Troop 6000 gives these girls a hand-up with programs to socialize and connect, have fun, deepen relationships with each other and bolster their resiliency. More importantly, it gives them hope. Hope is in short supply these days and I sincerely believe that it is something that can lift people up.
Hope is what our church was founded upon. Hope that the world could become a more loving, a more just and peaceful place. We were founded on hope for healing, both physically and spiritually. It’s something that we actively embody in our Saturday Breakfast at the Cathedral, iCare programs and Taste of Hope.
Hope is not some vague concept. It is a real and tangible thing that can make the difference between living in despair and living into the fullness and promise of an abundance God gives us.
God of many names, may we always find your gift of hope, especially at those times when we are in despair and sorrow. May we receive the hope your grace so freely gives us and in turn pass it on to others in need.