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SUNDAY 24th MAY 2020


O God who created the heavens and stretched them out. WE PRAISE YOU!

You fashioned the earth and all that lives there. WE PRAISE YOU!

You give breath to the people upon it, and Spirit to those who walk upon it.


That the eyes of the blind be opened, the broken hearted be healed,

The poor hear the good news, and captives be brought out of darkness.


Over the past week we have been reflecting on different encounters people had with Jesus and how he brought his healing touch to bear.

Today I wanted to consider this account from Mark 2-1-12.

After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word. They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men. When they weren’t able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher. Impressed by their bold belief, Jesus said to the paraplegic, “Son, I forgive your sins.”

Some religion scholars sitting there started whispering among themselves, “He can’t talk that way! That’s blasphemy! God and only God can forgive sins.”

Jesus knew right away what they were thinking, and said, “Why are you so skeptical? Which is simpler: to say to the paraplegic, ‘I forgive your sins,’ or say, ‘Get up, take your stretcher, and start walking’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both . . .” (he looked now at the paraplegic), “Get up. Pick up your stretcher and go home.” And the man did it—got up, grabbed his stretcher, and walked out, with everyone there watching him. They rubbed their eyes, incredulous—and then praised God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!”

A number of years ago, I fell and fractured my lower spine. I went in a moment from someone who was really active, who ran, and cycled, walked for miles, held down a busy job, looked after family, to a woman who was now flat on her back, in a body brace for months, and had very limited movement.

It was a real shock to my system, not least being that for the first time since I was an infant, I was totally reliant on family and friends to care for all of my needs. It was both scary and deeply humbling, but as the weeks went by I began to accept with grateful thanks all that was being done to me and for me.

After three of months it was deemed safe by doctors that I could be taken out for short spells in a wheel chair. And so, two friends arrived one day and off we set. I did not enjoy the trip, so scared was I that they would bump me, or that I would fall out when going up and down the kerbs, and I remember screaming when they decided it would be “fun” to run at full pelt down a long hill.

It was not the last of these trips out, and I slowly began to trust that I was in safe hands.

Friends were so, important during these longs months of recovery for as well as my physical needs being catered for, so too were my spiritual needs, and prayers for my healing were offered daily by many.

Friends were central to the recovery of the paralyzed man in today’s bible reading.

They saw the need of their friend and took action, taking him from his home, and carrying him to Jesus.

I wonder how this broken man felt as he was being carried along, and I wonder if he was scared as he was lifted up and then down through the roof to lie at the feet of Jesus.

We don’t know............we only know this man was brought by friends concerned for his well being, and laid at the feet of Jesus.

Jesus saw the man, and healed him, body, mind, and spirit.

There were those present who were not pleased with Jesus words and actions, but Jesus is not distracted. He has come to bring healing, and wholeness, to usher in the kingdom of God.

And that has not changed........... He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

May you know the healing touch of the Saviour today, and may we reach out in friendship to those in need. God bless.

Brother, sister, let me serve you; let me be as Christ to you; pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too. We are pilgrims on a journey, and companions on the road; we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load. I will hold the Christ light for you in the night-time of your fear; I will hold my hand out to you, speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping; when you laugh I'll laugh with you; I will share your joy and sorrow, till we've seen this journey through.

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