Lent Reflections @ CEC (3/12/20)
“God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but He does what is still more wonderful: He makes saints out of sinners.” Soren Kierkegaard
SCRIPTURE & DEVOTION: Mark 6:30-56; focused on Mark 6:53-56
When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went – into villages, towns, or countryside – they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.
Bringing it all to Jesus
This passage of scripture creates such a vivid, cinematic image in my mind. Jesus steps onto the shore, and the camera, originally focused on him, begins slowly pulling back to encompass a wide shot of hundreds of people flocking toward him. Like that iconic overhead crane shot from the movie Gone With The Wind where Scarlett O’Hara attempts to navigate a path through the bodies of thousands of wounded and dying soldiers lying on stretchers on the ground around her at the Atlanta train depot, I imagine the camera continuing to pull back to reveal even more people approaching Jesus from the far edges of the frame, until he stands at the center of a sea of mats, each one containing a sick person who has been brought to him for healing.
Because this scene is depicted in such visual detail, I envision Jesus surrounded by people with all kinds of physical infirmities and illnesses. It is easy to believe in his miraculous healing power when a lame man begins to walk or a blind man begins to see. But we all know that there are other kinds of sicknesses from which we human beings suffer, and many are not visible to the eye. Rejection and hurt caused by strained or broken relationships, fear and uncertainty resulting from the loss of a job, sorrow and grief following the death of a loved one, addictions that compromise our ability to cope with the demands of daily living: these are illnesses of a different kind that can threaten to overwhelm us, especially if we try to hide them even from those closest to us.
The good news is that Jesus sees beyond the physical, into the very depths of our being. He knows all our weaknesses of body and soul and spirit. Psalm 103:3-5 says that “he heals all our diseases and forgives our sins, he redeems our life from destruction and crowns us with tender mercies; he satisfies our desires with good things so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
So bring it all to Jesus, whatever infirmity you suffer, whatever mending you need. He stands ready and waiting with love and compassion. How awesome it is that Jesus is still in the business of healing, here and now, just as he was when he stepped out of that boat on that day so long ago, onto that faraway shore.
We are so grateful for the love and compassion that You show to us each and every day. We are thankful for Your healing touch - spiritually, emotionally, physically. May we show Your grace and compassion to those around us as well.