If you have been joining us on a Sunday morning, I hope you are enjoying the exciting story of how the church began. This week we meet a new character; he isn’t named but perhaps in a time of ‘social distancing’, we might identify with him more than perhaps we did two months ago. This man had been isolated all of his life but became part of the community he’d always longed for.
‘See a Victory’ by Elevation Worship
Peter uses the healing of the lame man to explain how it fits in to the bigger story of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and, more recently, Jesus. He tells them they ‘acted in ignorance’ and that despite their evil acts, God used them to fulfil his plan all along. This song boldly proclaims ‘You take what the enemy meant for evil and you turned it for good’ and also ‘I’m not backing down from any giants for I know how the story ends’. We might not know how this pandemic will pan out but we do know how the big story ends; with Jesus having the last word in victory.
‘God of Revival’ by Brian Johnson
‘Revival’ is one of those words which carries all sorts of connotations for all sorts of people. However it has been used, it’s clear that the events of Pentecost caused a resurgence in hunger for God’s presence, power and principles. The Spirit being poured out caused the first Christians to boldly follow the example of Jesus and to believe that they too could ‘heal the sick’, ‘cast out demons’ and even ‘raise the dead’. The healing in chapter 3 of Acts is the first of many miracles (apart from the Spirit being poured out at Pentecost) recorded by Luke and it challenges us today to believe God is still in the business of doing the impossible.
Cause there’s no prison wall You can’t break through
No mountain You can’t move
All things are possible
There’s no broken body You can’t raise
No soul that You can’t save
All things are possible
‘Dancing Generation’ by Matt Redman
When the lame beggar was healed, he danced for the first time in his life! He was so overjoyed that nothing could stop him jumping around, praising God. Imagine, being that happy. Imagine feeling that free that you don’t care what people think or say. Perhaps, we all need to embrace afresh the wonders of God’s love and mercy and, perhaps, it may cause us to dance: ‘it’s the overflow of a forgiven soul’.
‘Love Has A Name’ by Jesus Culture
In this passage, Peter uses many titles to describe Jesus: God’s ‘servant’, ‘the holy and righteous one’, ‘the author of life’, a ‘prophet’ and ‘the Messiah’. He has many titles but just one name: Jesus.
‘Second Chance’ by Rend Collective
Like the healed man at the beautiful gate, when we come to Jesus and to his cross, we are given a second chance, a new start, a new way of seeing and living. But the beautiful journey starts by realising we are broken and in need of God’s love and power. The man asked for money (what he thought he needed or, perhaps, all he could hope for) but became the recipient of so much more.
May we become more aware of our need for God’s rescue this week and may we dance, sing and shout as we remember just how much he has done for us.