Friday, May 12, 2017

Only Speak the Word

After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, rise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us!” and “God has looked favorably on his people!” This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country. Luke 7:1-17

There are times in our lives we feel under attack. It hurts, especially when it is people who should be bringing Jesus to each interaction. I am always amazed when people within the church go on the attack, as if any of us have the right to be bullies. All of us ache for healing and sometimes we get in our own way. My mother used to say that "you know you're getting close to God when the devil is working overtime." My mother was a wise and faithful woman, survivor of great trauma and extreme poverty. She knew the face of evil and she always turned to Jesus and brought him with her where
ever she went. She brought Jesus to us as well.

Today we read in the Gospel of Luke about Jesus healing the centurion's slave and a mother's only son. Both were near death or had died. It seemed as illness and death were cruelly victorious. Jesus, on the other hand, brought light, love and healing and changed forever how these people and their communities understood the presence of God. The saw Jesus and their world changed for the better. God invites us to bring the love of Jesus wherever we go today.

I ask God today to help me bring the love of Jesus and his compassion with me everywhere I go. May we not strike back when we are hurt, but rather bring love and forgiveness despite the pain and sorrow we bear. May light overshadow the darkness and may love heal all the wounds.

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