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Archive for November 8th, 2019


Luke 4:38-44: Taking Time to Heal

Friday, November 8, 2019

I always try to imagine what it must have been like to have Jesus walking among us to heal our physical and psychological ailments.  There were so many of them . . . there are so many of us.  No wonder Jesus had to continually repeat a cycle of retreat and prayer before returning to service.  Two things come to mind in a dovetail as I read these verses today . . . and these thoughts lead to an existential question that came up in my literature class.

Jesus still walks among us healing our ailments . . . God must be quite occupied with all of the problems we continually send to him . . . that is why we rest on Sundays.  Does God rest?  Do we rest in the proper way?

We are continually healed of our afflictions.  We continually receive balm for our spiritual wounds – and our spiritual self is the version of us that matters most in the end.  The enormity and the immensity of God are evident as we see Jesus walking among the people he loves, healing them with his passing.  In today’s hectic life this is sometimes hard to feel.  We are too occupied.  This leads us to the dovetail.

When God created the world, according to the versions of the story we find in Genesis, he rested.  He asks that we rest as well.  In twenty-first century USA perhaps we have too much activity on Sundays.  Perhaps we ought to return to the days of a few decades ago when only nurses, police, fire personal and other emergency personnel worked on the Sabbath – and perhaps we might honor these dedicated rescuers and healers more often. Perhaps we have forgotten to retreat in an intentional way.  Maybe the only times we do retreat are when we are exhausted.  I think this cannot be good.

Jesus rebukes the fever in Simon’s mother-in-law so well and so thoroughly that she immediately returns to her kitchen chores.  It must be wonderful to be able to bounce back in that way from an illness.  Yet this is what we are offered each day on our rising.  Do we respond to this call?  Or are we too exhausted or too occupied with the day’s schedule to hear it?

When we hear Christ invite us away from something in which we are fully engaged, do we turn to him or do we say that we will meet him at the next appointed worship event?  Are we scheduling our prayer and healing rather than living it moment to moment?  Is this what ails our collective and individual selves?

Jesus physically leaves the town of Capernaum but he remains in the hearts of the people whom he healed.  Jesus is itinerant, wandering among us, making home in our hearts and minds, settling into our routines with us, calling us away to sit with him a little while from time to time, asking us to put down our pencils, our papers, out thoughts . . . to be with him.

Perhaps the healing we receive in daily doses does not register so well with us because we are rushing forward in petition to make our next appeal for grace and peace.

Perhaps we do not allow the many blessings we have received to fully permeate our being because we are not quite ready to give up our illnesses.

Perhaps Jesus calls us away just when we begin something we want to complete in order that we make a demonstration of our belief that only he is worth living through and for.

Perhaps . . . but we must take the time to heal in order that we know him.  We must leave Capernaum from time to time when Christ calls to go into the desert . . . to strip away the world . . . and meet our God.

Perhaps . . . but we will never know until we begin.  So let us begin today.


Written on October 22, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite.

Image from: http://universitychurchdenver.org/index.php/articles/article/open-the-eyes-of-my-heart/

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