Rev. John Shaver
Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 9:30am
There is a painting in a chapel on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in the village of Magdala, Mary Magdalene's hometown (pictured above). This painting shows a woman reaching out to touch Jesus' cloak based on Matthew 9:20-22 and Mark 5:25-34. Take a moment to read both passages Matthew 9:20-22 Mark 5:25-34
Due to her illness, like many others at that time, she would not have been welcome in any crowd, much less coming face to face with this traveling rabbi. But she presses forward, as close as possible without being noticed, barely brushing her hand against the low hem of Jesus' robe.
And, Amazingly! She is healed. Healing poured from him into her - and he wasn't even trying. No wonder we speak of Christ's touch, the way simply being close to Jesus brings unanticipated healing and restoration. In the passage from Mark, Jesus notices the puzzled disciples - and then he has more mercy on her, treating her like no one else would, as a whole, infinitely valued child of God.
As we walk with Matthew through chapters eight and nine, we see Jesus is unfailingly "interruptible." He always had important things to do, but along the way, there's always a person, someone requiring just some compassion, a kind look, and word. Jesus shows us how to be attentive while we're headed toward wherever we're going. Envision Jesus standing in your home and in our world. He knows that we and so many in our world need healing and grace. He also calls us to do the same at the end of Matthew 9:36-38, "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."
Take a moment with me, pray for any healing you may need, and then pray for how Christ is calling you to be a healer in the world around us… Yes, as we can see this week and throughout history, we need to be the hands and feet of Christ to a world that needs healing that comes through hope, peace, justice, respect, and sharing God's love.
I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday for our Livestream service at 9:30 a.m. and Outdoor Worship (in the patio area of Founders Hall) at 10:45 a.m. This weekend our focus will be on the healing stories that we find in the Gospel of Matthew. As we move through this weekend, may we be the hands and feet to a world in need of God's Hope and Healing.
Grace, Peace, and Prayers,
PS Please watch your E-news in the week to come for information on Holy Week and Easter.
PPS Please take a moment and join me in a prayer for our Asian American church family and friends and others who are being wounded in our world, "Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; To be understood, as to understand; To be loved, as to love; For it is in giving that we receive, It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen." St. Francis of Assisi