Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Waited on Them

Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
he is able to help those who are being tested.
Hebrews 2:18

On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon's mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.
  Mark 1:29-31

Precious Lord, take my hand,
lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.

Through the storm, through the night,
lead me on to the light;
take my hand, precious Lord,
lead me home.
(Precious Lord, words and music by Thomas A. Dorsey)

Jesus has quite the bedside manner.  From the pebble dropped in the water of curing Peter’s mother-in-law, his service ripples out to healing people across Capernaum and beyond.

Peter’s mother-in-law had an equal impact.  After she was healed, she served the Lord as did many who, like her, were healed.

Jesus chose to become one of us, to share in this messy world where illness, violence, hatred and indifference toward each other abound.  He took the hand of many in trouble to pull them through.  The more you think about it, the greater the mystery of it all.  Why would God’s Son, who could have remained with his Father in the comfort of their heavenly realm, want to be with us?  We don’t love God like we ought to. We don’t love each other like we should.  We don’t even always know how to love ourselves.  It’s a mystery why Jesus didn’t count equality with God the thing he would hold onto but instead was willing to become like you and me and suffer all the ills we human beings are subject to.  It’s the mystery of divine love.  In order to save us from the mess we’ve created, Jesus entered the fray of human existence.  It could only be Love.

It’s Love who takes us by the hand when we’re laid low by sin, or illness or despair.  It’s Love who raises us up and restores us to the community.  It’s Love who gives us strength to get back on our feet to serve one another in Christ’s name.

I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.

When was the last time you found yourself flat on your back, unable to move?  Lost your job.  Realized how much you hurt a loved one.  Discovered your marriage was over when your spouse walked out.  Admitted you had committed a grievous sin.  Received an ominous medical diagnosis.

Fill in the blank, because we’ve all been there.  Maybe you’re there today.  If so, cry out to the Lord of Love.  He will hear your call.  He will take your hand, raise you up, and your life will go on.

In return, God seeks our service.  We are not here simply to follow someone else. Being part of something good does not automatically make us good. What we do with our own lives is the measure of their value. We are here to learn to take ourselves and each other in hand, in service.

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