Monday, May 17, 2010
And when Jesus entered Peter's house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him. Matthew 8:14-15
We were recently given a wonderful gift. The stove in the rectory had been on the fritz and although we had appliance people look at it, it was too old to repair properly. For months we have been getting by, sometimes the oven would work ok and other times we would have disasters. Sometimes the burners warmed and sometimes that had to be coaxed. A member of our congregation decided that she would like to give a stove to the rectory in honor of her mother who had passed away last fall. Joanne's mother Ronnie loved to cook and serve people. It made her happy to have her house full and her table groaning with food. I feel the same way and both Mark and I love to cook and love to feed others. What a delight and a joy to receive such a gift in honor of a woman who gave her life in service to others.
Jesus came and healed Peter's mother who was overcome with a fever and in the process of dying. When she is healed she sprang p and began to serve them. Some people might hear in this Gospel a subjugation of women, a life of servitude for women in the Bible. But as a mother and wife, I hear her joy and her delight at being well enough to do what she knew best - cooking for and feeding others. It was her sign of life, her way of being part of God's story and honoring her renewed body that was healed and restored. Too often we project our present understanding on people in the past, and have no connection with their lives. But I understand Peter's mom - I would rather be up and cooking and serving than having others use my kitchen and serve me.
Today, I want to remember that service is the highest form of thanksgiving and when I am able I will gratefully serve others in God's name. It is what I love to do, to hear people laugh around a table, full and lively with food and company. May we all share in the service of God so many may know that joy of love offered around the table.