Enthusiasm That Is Not Dampened (Fri. May 7)

Christ is Risen!

The word of the day is “leaping.”  The one thing about power that we can count on is that it will fade. The law of inertia says that a body will stay moving in a straight line unless some force acts on it.  But such forces as gravity, friction, and opposing forces will slow an object down.

Time Erodes Enthusiasm–Usually

So we might expect that the power of the resurrection to move people to faith and hope would eventually weaken.  The wear and tear of time, opposition, competing claims and interests, and the resistance of the devil would dampen the enthusiasm of the new movement of believers.

But consider our reading of Acts 3:1-11.  In this passage, Luke, the writer of Acts reports the healing of a lame man at the gate of the temple. Peter heals the man in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  And the man immediately regained strength in his legs.  And Luke says, he entered the Temple, “walking, leaping, and praising God” (OSB 8).

Glory That Has Not Faded

This marvel demonstrates that the glory of the resurrection has not faded.  The power of the Name of Jesus Christ has not diminished.  Jesus the Healer has risen and ascended into heaven.  But He has given the power of healing to His disciples.  Moreover, as the Lord had performed many miracles so now that ability has been given to His followers.  Thus, Luke records, “Many wonders and signs were done through the apostles (OSB Acts 2:43; 5:12).

As the Acts of the Apostles continues, we find that nothing can suppress the vigor and dynamics of the movement:  not the passage of time, not the disapproval of the religious authorities, not being put on trial, not imprisonment, not even martyrdom.

What Opposes the Forces of Opposition?

What is preventing the forces of forces that oppose or resist the power of the Gospel?  Some  say that the book of the Acts of the Apostles should be called the “Acts of the Holy Spirit.”  This title is appropriate because behind, through, and in the witness and actions of the early Church was the invisible power of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit animates, enlivens, and guides the proclamation of the apostles and the growth of the Church.  And that is still true today after 2,000 years.  The Spirit is the “Advocate” who keeps the Church moving on the course set by the Lord Jesus and the apostles.

For Reflection

Note that this miracle is a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “Then lame shall leap like a deer” (Isaiah 35:6).  What an image of how we might respond to the Resurrection of the Lord! Imagine going through life on this earth “walking, leaping, and praising God.”  It can happen if, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the joy of the resurrection keeps us motivated and energized in the faith.

 

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