16th Sunday after Pentecost
Jesus’ Personal Touch of Love
Text: Mark 7:31-37
“Did you hear? Did you hear about that guy? They say he’s like no one else. They say he can do incredible, unbelievable things. They say he made a paralyzed man walk and healed many others. They say he has provided food for thousands. Some say that he can even walk on water. Did you hear about him? And did you know that he’s here—right here, right now—today?”
The eager and excited friends knew what to do. They battled their way through the crowds of people. They pressed and pushed on until finally they reached him. “Jesus! Jesus! Help us!”
They brought forward their friend. “Help us, Jesus. He’s deaf. He can’t talk either. Help us. Please.”
Wouldn’t it be nice to have the chance to do the same? Surely we would love the opportunity. There could be massive, hording, raucous, Woodstock-like crowds. It wouldn’t matter. We’d fight through it. We would stand in line, push and pull—whatever it takes—all to have the chance to see him face to face. “Jesus! Jesus! Help me!”
“It’s my daughter. She’s sick.” “It’s my mother. She has cancer.” “It’s my family. We’re really struggling.” “It’s me. I’m lost. I don’t know where to go. I don’t know what to do. I can’t sleep at night. I’m worried. I’m confused. I’m sad. I’m lonely.”
“Jesus! Help me. Please.” Read the rest of this entry
Text: Mark 7:31-37
So often, we Christians are completely comfortable proclaiming that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, but we are equally uncomfortable to remember that Jesus died, personally, for each of us individually.
But if Christ died for each of us individually, will he not also care for our needs as well?
Whether it’s modesty or just plain stubborness, we seek to be our own savior as we take matters into our own hands into our daily lives. Troubles are not accompanied by prayer, but by a self-reliance. It’s the “American way” isn’t it? We’re supposed to pick ourselves up by our own bootstraps and never ask for help because that would show weakness!
How foolish we are!
In response to this stubborn, human, lack of trust, God lovingly drives us to our knees. The trials in our lives–our sicknesses, our pain, our loss–point us to the mercy and providence of our Father who wants nothing more than to care for us, here in time and hereafter in eternity.
Cannot the same God who healed the deaf and the mute cure your diseases? Cannot the same God who fed thousands put food on your table? Cannot the same God who died for all man’s sins declare that your sins, too, are forgiven? This is our God of immeasurable power and grace.
He is not a God far off, but a God for you–for your troubles and to provide you comfort. He is your God who longs to bring you home to him forever.
Prayer: Dearest Jesus, strengthen my faith to continually trust in your promises. Help me to ignore my human weaknesses and my stubborn self-reliance. Move me to pray more and to find comfort in your Word and Sacraments. Use me to guide others to you, that you may be their comfort as well. Amen.