Chapter 9 of the Acts of the Apostles speaks of the many miraculous happenings as the Church was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit she grew in numbers. (vs. 31) As I read those lines from today’s lectionary text and the following examples of healings by Peter (vs.32-42) I tried to catch the feeling of power that must have accompanied their work. I thought then of Peter’s history and wondered if it was difficult at that point for him to remember that the power came from the Holy Spirit and not from himself.
Sometimes it takes awhile for us to truly wake up to the gifts that we have been given for good. Like Peter, some of us are impetuous and dive into things without much thought. Our intentions are good but we jump too fast without considering all of the consequences. On the contrary some of us are too slow to move for fear of making a mistake. There comes a time, however, if we are motivated by pure love, when something shifts within us and we can look in the mirror and see our true face. At that moment – and ever thereafter – we are certain of the power of God that is our heritage and our strength. We let go of the desire to be someone extraordinary and are content and able to listen for what some have called “the still, small voice of God” that works in us and companions us in our every moment.
I trust that as the Church grew, Peter grew as well in humility, trust and confidence. I believe that we, too, have the possibility of such “success.”