Take Your Mat & Walk!

{ Mark 2:1-12}

 Today in Mark’s Gospel we read the familiar story of Jesus healing the paralytic.

We are all pretty familiar with this story. The paralyzed man’s friends  help him get to Jesus by  creating a hole in the roof & physically lowering the man  through it so that he may be healed.

But what strikes me  this morning as I ponder this lesson is the words Christ says to the man AFTER He heals him.  Christ says:

“I say to you , take up your mat and go home.”

All of us are ” paralyzed” in some ways , ways in which only the loving kindness of our Lord, Jesus Christ, can  truly heal.  Like the man in this story, sometimes it is very hard to meet od in tough places, places of conflict & pain.

Meeting Christ in places of  conflict or hardship is not easy.  Sometimes the  conflict or struggle is logistical, as is the  case of the paralytic needing his friends to physically  lower him through the roof so he could meet Christ. But for most of us, the  barriers and/or places of conflict or struggle where we need to meet God are more abstract.

Often, part of the healing God wants to do with us & for us involves meeting God halfway in places & among people who are sources of pain & confusion. Sometimes this involves a little help from our sisters & brothers in the faith: maybe  we might not be quite ready to meet God in a place of conflict. This is ok, God is much more patient than we humans!

But it is so  easy to see Christ in people & places where we are comfortable.  But Christ tells each of us to ” take up our mat and walk”. He  is waiting for us to  meet Him in places which might be far from our comfort zone.  Meeting God outside of one’s comfort zone is unsettling at best and downright scary at worst. No one wants to feel alone or rejected. But what is totally * awesome* about our Lord is that He never rejects His people.  People might not always love  us & we might not always love  the same people. Conflicts happen. { or as my Grandpap Joe would say if he were still alive” Sh__ Happens”}

When one can to meet God in a place  of hardship or conflict, true healing can begin.  Christ is waiting for you & me to seek Him in  the dark places of our lives. He wants us to  be able to take up our mats & walk freely , doing His work to further the Kingdom of God here on Earth.

Let us try hard to remember to take up our own personal & collective mats & walk. 

O God of all, please help  us to be instruments of Your peace, to heal as we have been healed, to reconcile as You have reconciled us to Yourself, to take up our own mats & seek Christ’s Face in places & with people where  there was once conflict.  In the name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit, Amen.



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