Reflection for Sunday 7 Feb 2021

"As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come. So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons." (Mark 1: 29-39)


The above reading is one of the set lectionary readings for this Sunday.

I have a real fondness for Mark’s Gospel, for it’s an all action account of Jesus ministry. Jesus is all go, “on the way”, “immediately”, are words which feature again and again throughout this the shortest of the gospels. And, those around Jesus seem to get caught up too in the urgency of his ministry.


Already in chapter one, we have moved rapidly from Jesus’ baptism to the calling of the disciples to the beginning of his ministry. After Jesus’ “teaching with authority” in the synagogue, and the casting out of the demon, we find Jesus in the house of Simon, whose mother-in-law lies ill. Jesus heals her, and she rises to serve those present.


There is no hesitation. Jesus hears of this lady’s illness, heals her, and at once she returns to her duties, providing hospitality for all present, apparently without taking any time to rest and recuperate.

When Jesus healed her, she was completely restored, and she returned to her position as host, able and willing to get on with her life. And, here’s what I think is important to take note of..............she was allowed to do just that.

There was no one saying, “You need to take things easy for a while”, “be careful you don’t overdo it” “the illness might return, and you’ll feel worse and be disappointed”


Jesus healed her, she knew she was healed, and she wanted to get on with her life.

Sometimes it’s not the person who has doubts about the healing they have received from Jesus, but others around who have their doubts. Don’t want to have their hopes dashed, or who fear that their loved one may relapse and then how will they cope with that? And yet, over and over in the gospels Jesus heals people, and they immediately get on with their lives.


As the day drew to a close that day, many people were brought to Jesus and the whole town gathered at the door.

Jesus continued to heal people, from all kinds of diseases. Can you imagine the joy and excitement that would have filled the air? All those folks set free to live their lives again?


This is the whole purpose of Jesus ministry In Luke’s gospel he spells it out quite clearly.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them,

“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”


TODAY, NOW, IMMEDIATELY.

This is the purpose of Jesus ministry, and this is the purpose of the ministry here at Braehead House. To bring new life, restored hope, healing of body, mind and spirit,

to all who come up the drive,

to all who we meet as we walk along the Way,

to those who ask us to pray,

to those who seek a listening ear,

to those who long for a quiet space,

to enable those who seek Jesus to find Him.


There’s a hymn that’s dear to my heart. And I leave you with the words now.


We cannot measure how you heal or answer every sufferer’s prayer,

yet we believe your grace responds where faith and doubt unite to care.

Your hands, though bloodied on the cross, survive to hold and heal and warn,

to carry all through death to life and cradle children yet unborn.


The pain that will not go away, the guilt that clings from things long past,

the fear of what the future holds, are present as if meant to last.

But present too is love which tends the hurt we never hoped to find,

the private agonies inside, the memories that haunt the mind.


So some have come who need your help and some have come to make amends,

as hands which shaped and saved the world are present in the touch of friends.

Lord, let your Spirit meet us here to mend the body, mind and soul,

to disentangle peace from pain, and make your broken people whole.






May God bless your day,

Elizabeth

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