Tuesday, November 22, 2011

By the name of Jesus Christ

New Testament Challenge – Day 8

Acts 1-4

The other day I was enjoying a cup of coffee with a clergyman of another denomination. We were discussing a book I’m now reading titled, “The Language of God” by Francis Collins.

You may have heard of it a couple year’s back because it rocked the science world. Dr Collins, head of the genome project, wrote this book to express his faith in God after having spent many years as an atheist. He outlines beautifully (so far-I’m not finished with book yet) how his scientific mind and work reveals the language of God rather than being an alternative to Him.

Anyway I was discussing science and faith with this priest because of this book when we go to subject of end-of-life issues such as cancer and the like. If you are new to my blog you probably don’t know that I lost my mother this year to cancer, so this topic is close to my heart. This priest friend of mine was sharing a conversation he had with a skilled surgeon who said, “I can’t save them all, but I do save some.” (or something like it) To this my priest friend reminded the good doctor, “YOU don’t save any. You only delay the inevitable. That’s where I step in and help them prepare to meet God.”

We live in a society that is addicted to worldly-life. You may think it sounds funny put in those terms, but if you think about it, we often act just like addicts whenever someone suggests that we don’t need so much of the “stuff” the world thinks is so important. “It’s a free world! If I want three cars in my garage, who are you to tell me it’s wrong?” and the like.

But when it comes to end-of-life issues, things change. We begin to panic that if we are going to die. At this point, maybe I should remind you……YOU’RE GOING TO DIE…at least until you are raised again by God at the Second Coming. But nonetheless when people are inflicted with an incurable disease, the very thought of “giving in” and embracing the end is characterized as giving up. We seem to forget that God is in charge and even doctors can’t cure everything, and if we remember my priest friend’s reminder, doctors can’t “cure” anything but only delay the inevitable.

So, why this topic today as part of our New Testament Challenge and 40 Days Blogging Challenge? Simple! In today’s reading from Acts we see a healing performed by the Peter the Apostle in the presence of a crowd. When he is questioned, interrogated really, he says,

Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.

While we don’t experience miracle healings every day, at least we can give God the credit for the good work we accomplish lest we forget… “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.” (James 1.17)

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