Scripture of the Day
When Jesus came to town, crowds swarmed the place where he was staying. A group of friends conspired to bring their friend who could not walk to Jesus. The crowds being so densely packed, they ripped a hole in the roof to lower their friend down before Jesus. First off, you gotta appreciate the moxy! Oh that we were all blessed with such bold and determined friends! Second, you have to be impressed that Jesus didn’t get all judgy about line-cutting. I am certain, had I been near, that I would have shouted some complaint about fairness and everyone waiting their turn. But I would have been standing and Jesus would have certainly rebuked me for being unkind and petty. Jesus initially says, “Your sins are forgiven” — a reference not to the trespassing through the roof, but to the ancient belief that ailments were caused by sin. The suggestion shocks the more orthodox of the crowd. Jesus after comparing the relative difficulty of forgiving sins or healing a paralyzed person orders “Pick up your mat, and walk!” The phrase is a reminder, for me, that low as I may be, stuck as I may get, Jesus commands me to rise up and get to work. Those early first steps after a life of sitting down will be wobbly and awkward. But each step is stronger and more stable than the last.
Jesus, forgive my sins as easily as you command me to walk. Forgive my lack of faith and my secret desire to sit back down. Spur me from beneath and behind; drag me from above and before. I will pick up this mat and begin, again, my journey of faith, knowing that you have not ordered a particular destination only that I get going. Amen.