Day in and day out we read the stories of the early Church through the Acts of the Apostles. We hear of the mighty deeds they performed in the name of Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Their boldness and courage testify to the events they witnessed in their lives, transforming them from a cowering, hiding group of followers to an army of witnesses to Christ – healing the sick, making the lame walk and the blind see, and spreading faith to the ends of the earth.
They were the Church. We are the Church. Do we do the same?
During Lent, I sang at a parish mission given by a charismatic, healing priest. Having been in this type of ministry before, I listened somewhat knowingly – not in a know-it-all way, but in a “I needed to hear that again” way. On the second night of the mission, he challenged us to read the bible and to know the Word of God– really know it. He read a passage from scripture, then forcefully asked a question, “Do you believe it? Do you believe what Jesus said?” Quoting John 14:12, he hit us between the eyes, “Jesus said, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.’ Do you believe that? YOU, yes you, can do greater works than Jesus did. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. You will do greater works than these. Do you live that way?”
Wow! What a question!
Asking myself that same question, quite honestly, my answer would be, “Well, sometimes yes and most times no.” Jesus told the apostles, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to [this] mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” (Lk 17:6) Hmmm… just how small is a mustard seed?
That night, I returned home and, opening the front door, found my husband buckled over with abdominal pain. Within about 10 minutes we were on our way to the emergency room. After decisively ruling out a heart attack, suspicion turned to his gall bladder which meant transfer to another hospital for treatment. After everyone left the room and my husband lay quietly on the table, I said to Jesus, “Ok, Lord, I’m keeping you to your word.” Then I put my hands on my husband’s stomach and prayed for healing and for the gall stone to go away.
I returned home for the night to sleep and to get my daughter off to school the following morning. When I spoke to my husband the next day he told me that the doctors told him they couldn’t find the gall stone. I guess they don’t usually pass, but most times go back up into the gall bladder, but for some reason, it wasn’t there.
Interesting… Some will say his body forced it through that tiny canal. I say he was healed. I’m claiming it for Jesus.
How about you?
Are you ready and willing during this Easter season to boldly live your faith in Jesus and do greater than these?
Alleluia! Alleluia! He is risen! Anne