Read: Acts 5:12-16
Acts 5:15 “They brought forth the sick into the streets, that at the least, the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.”
We do not know where Peter was going. He might have been going to a meeting. It may be that he was on his way to make the chief address at some sort of celebration. But it is certain that, without knowing it at the time, he was doing a lot more good passing along the street than he did with his fine oration. His shadow as it fell upon the sick brought them healing and release.
This is a parable of unconscious influence, of the shadow that is cast by every life as it passes by. No man liveth unto himself. Our worth to one another is determined not only by what we do, but also by what we are. “What you are speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say.”
This is a great encouragement to many of God’s people, who are no good at making pretty speeches or at taking part in public meetings. They can go on living in the faith, being loyal to their high convictions, being brave in times of suffering, and sticking to their posts of duty. That’s eloquence at its best! For others, seeing them, pick up courage. And their shadow turns to substance – the substance of spiritual health and hope.
Heavenly Father, give us courage for this day and a hopeful spirit as we face tomorrow. May we cause no one to falter by what they see in us. And keep us faithful to the end; through Christ. Amen.
– From John Henry Harms. The Victory of Faith Ebook available at no cost from The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry
About John Henry Harms
John Henry Harms graduated from Newberry College in 1893 and from the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1897. His first call was to Trinity Lutheran Church in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, serving there until 1900. In the summer of 1908, he was notified by telegram of his election to the presidency of Newberry College. He accepted the call and served until 1918. During this period, in 1912, he received his D. D. from Erskine College, Due West, South Carolina.
In 1918, he began his work at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion in Philadelphia. He was to continue in this call for 27 years, resigning in 1945. During this pastorate he also served as the president of the Board of Publications of the United Lutheran Church. And, in 1945, received a Litt. D. from Newberry College. Rev. Harms passed away at his home in Philadelphia after a long illness.1