Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Take Heart

And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men. Matthew 8:1-9

It is always hard to take the first step. Whether it is the first step of reconciliation after a relationship is broken or the first step after an injury, the anxiety, pain and fear are real. We know well what it is like to be broken and paralyzed but we don't know what that forgiveness and healing look like. Take heart, Jesus says, for we are not alone in our need for this healing, this forgiveness. And we are never alone when we take our first steps along the road.

Jesus encounters a man very defeated by the pain in his body. And yet, Jesus offers healing, not only for his body but his soul as well. We know too well that our guilt and shame only compounds our disease, The religious leaders outwardly criticize and judge Jesus' actions and statements but inwardly are afraid of this power and authority. God comes into the world to save us, from all manner of evil and disease as well as from ourselves. We are offered today a new heart, one free from the guilt, shame and hurt we have been carrying for so long.

Today I ask God to help me truly accept forgiveness and to move to a life of stronger faith. May we not be timid but happily take up our beds and walk, so the world might know of the love of God. God's love is in the world and is always more ready to forgive and heal than we are to ask. May we take heart today. God is with us!

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