Saturday, February 21, 2015

Daily Devotion for Lent 2015 Day 4

Daily Devotion for Lent

Day 4, Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mark 2:1-12 (NRSV)

The paralytic had friends that were willing
to risk much for their friend.  How is the
church called to befriend those in need?
Some imagine that the loss and depth of suffering of the cross somehow changed God.  With the cross, God is able to somehow forgive the sins of the world.  I think that today's scripture reading challenges this to the core.

As sin and guilt are closely tied to illness in that day, rather than immediately healing him, Jesus begins by forgiving his sins. The gatekeepers of grace are outraged! This offering of forgiveness declares too much on behalf of God, they say.

And so to prove his point, Jesus then heals the man.

In this day, it would prove that Jesus is acting on God's behalf.  For only God could provide healing and so if Jesus heals him, surely he is acting (and teaching) according to God's will.

Jesus seems to be identifying a characteristic of God in this story.

I hope that we can take note.  I would hate to begrudge the grace of God active in another's life.

Prayer by Kathy Galloway, Iona Community:

God of the spirit of kindness,
in the glory of earth and sea and stars,
in the kaleidoscope of color and shade and
in the patterns of humor and tenderness and touch, 
we celebrate your generosity.

Forgive us when we forget the gift in our every
the care that sustains our every moment,
the grace that can transform every day.

Set us free from the prison of grudging hearts,
mean desires,
resentful spirits.
Give us the courage to act with justice
and generosity,
and draw us into love that does not calculate 
or keep scores.

Prayer from The Pattern of Our Days: Worship in the Celtic Tradition from the Iona Community.

Picture by Arief Rahman Saan (Ezagren) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons


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