The Beautiful Gate is only mentioned in Acts 3.2 when Peter and John went into the Temple, and is not mentioned in any other historical sources. Archeologist Leen Ritmeyer suggests that it was the Double Gate in the southern wall of the Temple Mount, which he describes in his book The Quest, pp. 67-74.  I like the idea that something beautiful happened at this gate – and it therefore gained a nickname amongst the disciples.
In the light of this I am intrigued to discover another “Beautiful Gate”. This is an NGO, founded by Toby and Aukje Brouwer, that began as a project for street children in Cape Town. Today Beautiful Gate has grown into an association with organisations in South Africa, Lesotho and Zambia. And the thought struck me that we can all create our own “Beautiful Gates”. Let us see those who hang around the closed gates and doors begging for morsels of life – and find ways of offering moments of beauty. This can range from a greeting and a smile, to assistance, to advocacy for change in social structures. Each of us will have our own particular contribution – but all of us can echo the words of Peter: what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
First Sunday after Trinity31 Mercy, Justice and Love
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 197.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.
(1) See also http://www.ritmeyer.com/2010/12/14/the-beautiful-gate-of-the-temple/.