Thursday, April 22, 2010

Shaky pedestals

Today’s Reading: Acts 14:11-13 NIV

11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.

Good morning!

I remember my first grade teacher, Miss Lane. She helped me learn to read, opening up a whole new world for me. I loved reading out loud to Miss Lane. She listened and helped me sound out every syllable, every vowel. In my young, seven year old mind, I was convinced that Miss Lane had super powers – she could do anything! I imagined she could float through the air on a cloud of fluffy white snow. She was, by far, the prettiest and smartest teacher ever. I wanted Miss Lane to teach me everything she knew. If only I could have stayed in her classroom all through grade school!

I wrote Miss Lane gushy thank you notes and frequently turned them in to her each week. My mother expressed concern to Miss Lane about my behavior at a mid-term parent-teacher conference. Miss Lane smiled and told my mother not to worry. She said that young children, when they are learning and growing, are sometimes filled with great gratitude for the one who is helping them. Miss Lane said that I was raised to have a grateful heart, and it showed. She suggested that my “thank you notes” were remarkably well written for a first grader and that Mother should encourage me to continue writing at home. Imagine that!

The people of Lystra were blown away by the healing of the lame man in their village. They became overly zealous for the two men who had come to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, and they mistakenly presumed these men were gods. What they did not yet understand is that Paul and Barnabas had no ability in and of themselves to heal anyone. Our ultimate healing comes through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, and it is His healing power that was evidenced in town that day.

Christians help us grow in faith; our pastors and teachers, and covenant friends whom we meet along the way. When we receive a special gift from above, an anointing or healing, sometimes we mistakenly elevate the human heart helping us rather than our Lord. There is no one like Jesus, and once we know the original Gift Giver, we are less likely to raise each other up on shaky pedestals that will crumble and fall.

Be grateful to all who have helped you grow in grace; give thanks to the Only One who heals you perfectly from the inside out – our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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