Friday, April 24, 2015

Through the Roof

Once, when Jesus was in one of the cities, there was a man covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, "Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean." Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "I do choose. Be made clean." Immediately the leprosy left him. And he ordered him to tell no one. "Go," he said, "and show yourself to the priest, and, as Moses commanded, make an offering for your cleansing, for a testimony to them." But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.
One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting near by (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Just then some men came, carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven you." Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, "Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, "Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Stand up and walk'? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the one who was paralyzed—“I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home." Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, "We have seen strange things today." Luke 5:12-26 

Most of my life, as soon as make plans, things fall through. It can be very frustrating to hit barriers when trying to do something very positive. We can all lose hope at times, when our best timing, our best hopes are crowded out by necessities of life or by the limits of others. I often think of the man who was paralyzed a lifetime and how many times his hopes for healing were dashed, only to be lower through a roof, and not only be healed but strong enough to pick up the bed and walk. Even when disappointment, barriers and changes surround us, love is breaking through the roof, making space for our healing and renewal.

The crowds followed Jesus because they wanted healing. The religious leaders crowded in because they were afraid and confused. A crowd of hopeful people in pain and religious who were in crisis. Into this crowd drops a very broken man, who was so loved by his friends that they broke through the roof.  Love made them push on when there was no other way, and love broke through the crowd and healed their friend. We can be those today who are in pain,hopeful, yet afraid and confused. To all of that God's love says to us, don't give up, love in on the way!

Today I ask God to renew my perseverance and my hope. May love break through all the barriers set before us today, mending all the broken hearts and broken spirits we encounter today.

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