Friday, January 20th. Mark 3:1-6

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” 4 Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.Mark 3:1-6

 

For the past few years I have grown increasingly restless.  I think something happened when I turned 51.  I think my perspective has shifted.  When I was younger, I looked out 25 years into the future and dreamed about what could be.  It felt like I had a long time to get there.  Now I’m still looking 25 years into the future but I’m looking backwards from there.  I only had 25 more years to go and now the calendar has shifted to 2012 and now I only have 24 to do my part! 

 

Making the most of time has a new meaning for me.  I sense a new and deeper kind of urgency within me and that is dangerous for those around me who are content to move very slowly.  So it is that I am loving welcoming Mark back into my life as we reach into this new year of the common revised lectionary.  I am particularly appreciating Mark’s sense of urgency.

 

For Jesus, the Sabbath was an opportunity to do good in people’s lives.  For Jesus, any time was an opportunity to do good in people’s lives.  Once again Jesus enters a synagogue.  Once again, he isn’t alone.

 

A man is there with a withered hand and a heart full of hope.  Maybe he can help me!  The religious leaders, the Pharisees, and the Jewish political types, the Herodians, are there – both hoping to find cause to get rid of Jesus.

 

Jesus has hardly started his ministry and the powers that be are already lining up against him.  (I wonder if there is a connection there to the cast-out demon from the 1st chapter who so quickly recognized Jesus as a danger.)

 

Jesus knows what they are thinking and doesn’t let it bother him in the least.  The need of a hurting man is much more important to Jesus than the intentions of those out to hurt him.  “Come forward” says Jesus.  And then next thing you know, the man’s hand is a good as new.

 

STOP.  Imagine that!  His hand is good as new.  He has two hands to eat, to work, to pick up his children.  Two good hands.  Just take a moment and let that moment sink in.  We follow a Lord who notices the hurting, restores the broken, rescues the lost.  He has called us into this work – perhaps calling us first by restoring us when we ourselves were sorely broken.

 

Don’t let this little detail escape your notice. 

 

Jesus was angry at the hardness of heart of those who forgot what the Sabbath was all about.  May Jesus never be so angry at us for the same reason.

 

Let us pray:  Gracious Lord, heal us where we are broken.  Restore us where we have lost our usefulness.  Forgive us for misplacing our passion, for forgetting our purpose, for our own hardness of heart.  Use us as soldiers of love and healing in a world bent on destruction, violence, and tossing people aside.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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3 Responses to “Friday, January 20th. Mark 3:1-6”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Can you imagine what it would have been like to have been an eye witness to one of Jesus’ healings……

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I have those same thought at 80, how many more years and what am I suppose to be doing with the years given me. Time flies and we see our lives getting shorter, makes a person very restless. I really enjoy your devotions, always have, keep up the Lords work.

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