Thursday, October 07, 2004

B-E-A Utiful

“… A man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful.” He was hoping to find some beautiful hearts who would prompt some beautiful hands to dig deep in some beautiful pockets and bring out some beautiful coins to place in his crippled hand. It was three o’clock – time for the closing prayer. God’s people would be passing by. I wonder if he said, “I hope they are feeling beautiful today.”

The gate to the temple area that he chose was made of Corinthian brass. It was more costly than other gates that were made with gold and silver. This gate was incredibly heavy; so heavy that twenty men were called on to open and close it. Maybe to the perfect people, the man was out of place; his physical condition might have caused them to turn their heads. He couldn’t even serve as a doorman. But they probably anticipated his presence. This day at the gate called Beautiful was likely not his first. It would be his best!

Peter reach down toward the man with a hand empty of gold and silver, but full of love and the power of God. That was beautiful! The ankles and feet of the crippled man became instantly strong. That was beautiful! With a heart full of joy, the man walked and jumped throughout the temple area, praising God. That was beautiful! Peter and John used the interest of the observers who came running to see the formerly crippled man to tell the story of Jesus. That was beautiful! The murders of Jesus learned that their sins could be blotted out and that they could know about the times of refreshing from the Lord. That was beautiful!

Ultimately, Beautiful was just another gate. The entrance was just another entrance. But beautiful things happened that day that we are still reading about today. And the beauty continues because the love and power of God are still evident; the weak are still made strong; people impacted are still jumping and praising; the story is still being told; and times of refreshing are still here. See the beauty. Be the beauty.

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