Acts 3: 1-18; Psalm 4
In today’s passage, the book of Acts, we get much “Easter talk” in the form of sermons from Peter and from Paul, and over a very long one from Stephen before he was stoned to death. The disciples do more than talk Easter talk. Rather, they walk the Easter walk.
Notice what is happening here in today’s passage. The Easter talk is all about Jesus, and how God raised him up to new life. But the Easter walk is all about the lame beggar who receives new life. The move from the Easter talk to the Easter walk is from Jesus to the beggar. The talk is accomplished by God—God raised him up. But the walk is accomplished by the apostles, that is, by the church.
It is our business after we have engaged in Easter talk, to walk the Easter walk. That is why the church engages in charity—the giving of alms and operating food pantry—to share resources for life with those who lack such resources.
In addition, that is also why the church engages in social justice, all about humane issues—discrimination, violence, and poverty—not to rescue capitalism, and not to enhance democracy, but because the Easter power of life is given in the world so that the vicious cycle of greed, hate, anger, violence, and despair can be transformed into a life-giving cycle.
In today’s other passage, we also can make the connection between the Easter talk and the Easter walk. So, what if, our Psalm for today, is on the lips of the lame beggar who has been given strong feet and ankles? For sure the Psalm reads differently as the testimony of the man who has come through such several trials that seem to have no good ending.
Verse 7 is an Easter moment in the Psalm. The beggar affirms that his gladness is more than the happiness of a farmer when there is a lot of wheat, when the harvest is good when grapes abound when there is ample produce of wine.
At the beginning of today’s Psalm, the beggar had asked, “How long must I suffer in despair?” However, the beggar concludes his Easter talk with confident assurance in verse 8, “I will lie down and fall asleep in peace because you alone, Lord, let me live in safety.” The beggar will no longer sleep the cold restless sleep on the street. He will no longer sleep the hard sleep of painful disability and exclusion.
Friends, we are Easter people. We are Easter believers, not only raised to new life but empowered to raise others to new life. The reason we come and listen to the Easter talk from the scripture this morning, we are called to continue to talk the talk of Easter transformation, and to walk the Easter walk, taking one step at a time—making others be amazed by our little Easters with us, by us, and through us.
Thanks be to God.