I wager everyone reading this experiences distress over some loved one. Perhaps that someone's decision are not the ones you would choose. Perhaps that someone is a schlimazel, someone who just attracts bad luck. Perhaps that someone evokes both your love and your annoyance.

Today's Daily Office readings help us to see how to bring the Bible's inspiration into our everyday problems. In the second lesson, Paul is brought before the entire Sanhedrin (the same tribunal that sanctioned Jesus' crucifixion) to answer for his new-fangled preaching about Jesus. Paul uses his reservoir of knowledge and starts a spat between the two schools of thought represented there (Pharisees, who affirmed a resurrection of the dead, and Sadducees, who did not), totally disrupting the agenda.

In the Gospel lesson, four faithful friends are also resourceful in getting a paralytic before Jesus despite an encircling crowd. They drop him through the thatched roof. "When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.' " Mark 2:5 Then he heals the paralytic of his ailment.

What can we learn from these four faithful friends about how to deal with our distress over loved ones? The most obvious takeaway is that our faith can make a difference in the lives of others. But these lessons also commend resourcefulness.

We are called to pray for those we love, and we might also be called to use available resources such as counseling, alone or together. The Bible commends both our prayers and our resourcefulness.

Pastor Kathleen Kelly,  
Interim Rector  

For a nostalgic taste of a friendship that worked, listen to Laverne and Shirley sing "Schlemiel, Schlimazel, Hasenpfeffer, incorporated! .
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