Tuesday, January 07, 2020
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. (Matthew 4:23-24)
Hills rise quickly behind the village of Capernaum where Jesus made his home after leaving Nazareth. On the far northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum was a fishing town, a trading town on the border between the rule of two regional governors.
Today, ruins of an ancient synagogue stand 100 meters or so from the shoreline, a few pillars and paving stones weathered and pocked by shuffling feet and exposure to the elements. The lake, blue and wind-whipped on summer afternoons, stretches eight miles wide and extends 15 miles south from this point.
It’s not hard to visualize Jesus walking the shoreline, talking to young men that soon followed on a journey that would cost them their lives and everything familiar to them.
Nor is it difficult to imagine the faces of anxious souls, filled with the kind of yearning only love begets, dragging their broken ones down the grassy hills, golden in summer’s sun, eyes up, alert, eager for this man rumored to have healing power … and a heart to share it.
Imagine their faces, the yearning, the hope, their love for those they drag to Jesus. See, too, the gathering around Jesus, a little community of hurt and hope forming around him.
Jesus’ message is etched in their faces, in the ache in their moist eyes. This is the Kingdom of Heaven, this gathering of those who love, this congregation of love’s yearning for the Love who yearns for us.
Two longings meet at this ancient place, the hope of the broken for life and the heart of the One who is life.
And not just there, but here, too, and now. Wherever human longing meets Love’s presence … the kingdom comes.
Pr. David L. Miller