Mark 3:1-6

During the season of Lent our devotions have been written by members of Faith Lutheran Church.  Today’s writer is Marlaena Dobbins.

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.”

 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. 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. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him. Mark 3:1-6

I have learned that in life we must make decisions that may be good or bad. Every action we take is both judged and ridiculed. This is especially the case for me.

As a high school senior, I’ve never had to make so many decisions in life. Not only which college to attend and Prom dates, but also who to eat lunch with so I maintain a positive social life. I also have to think about if I’m going to look weird trying a new hairstyle, whether or not I’m eating too much, or if my makeup is just right. Although you don’t have to be in high school to experience this anxiety.

We have expectations that we place on others which mirror our own insecurities. Phrases like “she only comes to church on Easter and Christmas”, “he’s always checking his phone during the service”, “she’s still wearing her wedding ring”, and “I can’t believe that’s how they raise their kids” are waiting and expecting mindsets.

We constantly wait for our peers to fumble so that we may ridicule and judge them, allowing us to soothe scorn of our own burdens. We endlessly expect others to do the same to us.

As a black female that comes from a non-affluent family, there are so many people that watch and expect me to be a role that society has constructed. If I am assertive, I am an angry black woman. If I speak without any grammatical errors, I am trying to be white.

How can I make decisions in life, when every possible choice leads to condemnation?

There may be certain traditions or rules set in aims to restrict us. People say that the church is dying, that the traditions, and customs aren’t the same. Yet, Jesus teaches us specifically that death is sometimes necessary so that we may have everlasting life. Christianity teaches us that we do not fear death, yet seek the ways in which we can make life better for those around us.

Let us pray: I pray that we me learn to accept ourselves for who we are. Humans that are capable of making mistakes and being completely imperfect. That we may do the right thing with care for only the eyes of God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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6 Responses to “Mark 3:1-6”

  1. dfossen Says:

    Thank you for such an insightful commentary. Blessings to you as you continue to read, study, listen to God’s word, and write.

  2. heatherjg79 Says:

    Very thought-provoking. Your should be proud of what you wrote and in finding strength in your faith.

  3. Carolyn Says:

    Great and thought provoking devotion! Such great insight. Keep on growing in your faith and understanding.

  4. Bill Says:

    Thanks so much for these thoughts during Lent. People may say the church is dying but that’s only if you look only at the state of the institutions of faith. The church is you, Marlaena, and others around the world of all ages who keep pointing us to God and his son, Jesus. Keep it up.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    The church is alive and well as long as people like you continue to believe that God is in charge!

  6. Carolee Says:

    For those like yourself who ask, “how can I make decisions in life when every possible choice leads to condemnation?”

    Let us take our instructions from the Lord. Jesus says:
    “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” Romans 2:1

    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Matthew 7:1

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