Jul 11

The Good Neighbor

We all want to be the person who can be counted on, the hero who comes through in time of need, the one who shows up the hypocrites and the elite. We want to be the person who’s ready to help, who’s in a position to help in the first place. The desire to be the helpful person is so much a part of who we are that we have laws in this country that protect people who try to help others in a crisis. We all want to be a good neighbor. Continue reading

Jun 29

Surpassing Grace

Twelve years. She had been sick for twelve years. Cut off from her friends, her family, her community. Unable to touch anyone without drawing them into her illness. She had tried everything, this unnamed woman. Doctors, healers: they’d helped themselves to her money, but they hadn’t helped her. After twelve years, twelve long, hard, barren, miserable years, she was spent. Everything was flowing out from her: energy, money, blood. Nothing was being restored to her. Then she hears about this Jesus fellow. He’s healed people, they say. He’s taken on the illnesses and scourges that bind people, that hold them back from living full lives as God intends. Maybe he can help her—word is, he’s back in town. She shouldn’t even be out, but maybe she can just sneak through the crowd. “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” Continue reading

Feb 09

Healing that Restores

There’s a moment in this morning’s gospel lesson that grabs us modern readers and won’t let us just walk on by. Jesus has left the synagogue, gone to the house of Simon and Andrew, and healed Simon’s mother-in-law. And then we have this bothersome little moment: as soon as Simon’s mother-in-law—let’s call her Rebecca, since Mark doesn’t give us her name—as soon as Jesus frees Rebecca from her illness, she hops out of bed and begins to serve Jesus, Simon, Andrew, James, and John. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? After someone has been sick enough to call in Dr. Jesus, shouldn’t she catch a break from her normal chores and duties? Is Mark just giving us a story that relegates this woman to a servant’s lot? Continue reading