That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, saying to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter. Mark 1:29-45
My mother loved to cook and feed people. I have been sorting through her things and found a stack of recipes, many with notes about how to increase the ingredients to feed ten, twenty, thirty and more. She loved having her home full of people, family particularly, and never had a visitor without offering them something to eat and drink. Even in her last years, when she couldn't do any more, she offered simply what she had.
Jesus comes to his friend's home and find his mother very ill. He lifts her up and her fever disappeared. She immediately begins to take care of them. I can imagine the joy this woman felt, to be up and able to do what she enjoyed. God's love restores people to their joy, and their gratitude for being restored is visible, From his friend's mother, to the lepers on his way, Jesus restored people and they got up and celebrated that healing, often by serving others sharing their joy.
Today I ask God to help me serve with joy, in thanksgiving for all the healing I have received. May we live today making visible the love of God, showing our gratitude through our joyful, grateful service.