Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 2:1-5

When he returned to Capernaum, some time later word went round that he was in the house; and so many people collected that there was no room left, even in front of the door. He was preaching the word to them when some people came bringing him a paralytic carried by four men, but as they could not get the man to him through the crowd, they stripped the roof over the place where Jesus was; and when they had made an opening, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic lay. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, 'My child, your sins are forgiven.'


Moments come when time freezes and revelation appears.

The story stops when Jesus glances up and sees a man being lowered from the roof of reeds.

He doesn’t see the man, who is still above him. He doesn’t see his face or his condition. He sees the others, the paralytic’s friends who have taken this step.

They hold ropes fastened to the stretcher, which they carefully lower lest the stretcher tip throwing their friend to the ground with a thump.

This image is transparent to their souls, and this is what Jesus sees.

He sees their faith, and his mouth falls open in that universal ‘ohh’ that occurs at the sight of telling beauty.

I remember when I first saw the turquoise wonder of Lake Victoria, a freezing pearl framed by the Canadian Rockies. I remember the first time I stood on a Sudanese hill and surveyed a gentle bend in the Nile River as it pushed its way north.

I felt that “ohh,” but much more I feel it when I encounter beauty of soul.

It takes one’s breath as love or hope, faith or generosity of surprising magnitude startles you into the awareness of the wonder that lives in the human heart, a beauty that lies dormant waiting to be awakened so that it may grace the world.

That is what you saw Jesus, and it moved you just as it moves me.

You saw their faith, certainly their love for the paralytic, too, but it is their faith that most moved you.

Theirs was the faith that dares to believe there is a power of grace and love alive on this earth that can generously give healing to bodies and souls. They believed the power of this grace and love--the power of an all-generous God--filled you.

They trusted what was in you, the passion of your heart.

The beauty of their hearts touched the beauty of your own. Their faith and the loving power in you were not two different things but the presence of one thing--the divine Spirit.

And that Spirit made them your true brothers, whom you recognized with a word of joy, “ohh.”

May I see such beauty this day … and awaken also that word of joyous surprise in you.

Pr. David L. Miller

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