Well, fans, friends, fiends and foes, I have not been keeping up with this too consistently, which I do apologize for. Sometimes life gets away and things distract you. Anyway, I will try to do better and give you a good quality read more often.
Yesterday was Sunday, so of course I have Sunday School to talk about. I love it and I love teaching the young folks for many different reasons, but one of the things I love is when you see that they “get” it. Their little eyes light up and sparkle and you can almost see the little light bulb go on above their heads.
We talked about Acts 3:1 – 16, which is the story of the lame man who they carried daily to the temple and laid at the gate, called Beautiful. I used Nicholas, who is one of our most energetic children and had him lay down at the front of the room. Then I would pick him up, carry him over to the corner of the room, and ask him how much he had made in alms that day and how many people had kicked him out of the way. I would carry him back, all the while explaining that since the man was over forty and had been born that way, he would have to always beg for whatever little scraps or whatever pence he could get. I did contrast him with modern beggars who are often little more than charlatans with a piece of cardboard who prevent the people who really need help from getting any. This also helped explain why people were mean to beggars, etc. No, I don’t dwell on such things, but the distinction between the truly needy and the faker is an important one to make since 6 & 7 year olds are beginning to understand what compassion is.
Well, as Peter and John were going to the temple one day shortly after the initial outpouring of the spirit on Pentecost they saw this man. This was Zach and Micah, a couple more of my energetic bunch. They have grown up around the church and Bible stories and church kids can come in handy to use for illustrations like this. Their peers watch closely to make sure the story goes right or to see what is going to happen next. Well, Peter and John told the man to look at them and he expected to receive some kind of alms, or assistance. Peter (Zach) said, I don’t have any money, but I have something else and he took him by the hand and said “In the name of Jesus, get up and walk!” Well, Nicholas jumped up just like the man in the Bible and skipped around the room, using up a small portion of his energy stores.
Then I went on to tell them that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever and the way he healed people when he physically walked the earth and how he healed the man at the gate Beautiful through his disciples he can heal them. I told them a story of my own. I will tell it to you in full, here, but when I told them, I abbreviated it because I did not want them to get confused. It is actually a story my Aunt Gertie used to tell because she wanted me to always know what had happened.
When I was born I had something wrong with my legs. My mom can’t recall the details any more but does remember that it made me me very difficult to change. I would scream when they did it, and my Aunt Gertie would help my mom a lot. One day she was watching Oral Roberts on T.V. and listening to him preach about faith and healing. When he finished he said that if anyone on the audience at home needed healing they should touch their T.V. set and pray along with him. My aunt did this and whenever she told this her eyes would well up with tears, she said that when she got to the end of the prayer and said, “In Jesus name, amen” that as she was saying “Jesus” the leg straightened right out in her hand while she stood there. I would make her tell it over and over again because it gave me goose bumps every time she told it. So, contrary to what anyone may say, supernatural healing does exist in our day and age and is available to anyone who believes God. When will God heal someone? It can happen instantly, but sometimes there is a purpose that God has in waiting. It seems likely to me that the man in the story had to have been at the temple the many times that Jesus had gone in, why hadn’t Jesus himself healed the man? Perhaps because there was a greater glory to be had or perhaps the man would not have been ready for such a miracle to happen to him.
When I tell it to kids I just tell them that when she heard the preacher telling her that God can do anything and that when she prayed along with the preacher it was at the name of Jesus that the leg straightened out. This fits in with the frame of reference that most of my kids have and is true. I use that example because they can see me standing there when the doctor told my mom I would not be. I could tell many other stories of modern healing and protection. One example would be when Margaret was healed of Epilepsy as a child and did not need medication anymore. Or Tabitha, who had major hearing loss problems and was never going to be able to hear or speak properly or Sister Johnson, who had been diagnosed with cancer and has a letter from a doctor saying that, (actual quote) a notable miracle has occurred. The easiest example for kids to understand sometimes, however, is the one they can see.
Anyway, if you are looking for some exciting reading, the book of Acts is full of the exploits of the apostles, all of which are examples of what God will do if humans will let him.
As the good book says, “Who is like unto God?”