This morning we read the remarkable story of Peter and John as they minister in the power of the resurrection. The two disciples are approaching the Temple in Jerusalem and they encounter a man lame from birth, who was laid daily at the gate to the Temple called Beautiful. It is highly probable that Jesus himself passed by this man during his earthly ministry (not everyone in Jerusalem was healed by Jesus!). It seems that the day of salvation and healing for the lame man at the Beautiful Gate was reserved was this paricular time, and Peter and John were the intended instruments of healing. Although the lame man was begging for money, Peter offers him a gift far superior to a mere handout. Peter declares, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give to you, in the name of Jesus of Narareth rise and walk ."
The remarkable aspect of this story is that Peter recognizes the power of his own powerlessness. In the gospel accounts the disciples are caught up in their own desire for greatness as they inquire of Jesus, "Who will sit your right hand?" - the right hand being a position of power and prestige. And yet now, as the disciples step into their apostolic ministry, the central focus of their ministry is the power of Jesus of Nazareth, who though crucified is now risen and alive!
The recognition of our own powerlessness is a necessary first step toward fulfilling our calling as witnesses of Christ. A witness does not point to himself, but points to that which he has seen and experienced. As we experience the power of resurrection in our lives, that power becomes the gift we offer the world.