Psalms 146:2, 7, 8-9, 9-10
Today's scriptures are a confusing mixed bag. I'm not very familiar with Tobit, the Psalm is beautiful and Mark is confusing. A theme that seems to run through these scriptures is the opening of people's eyes and the fact that God can use unlikely people and circumstances to accomplish his will.
Tobit's son, Tobias, returns home and is greeted by his mother, Anna, who exclaims, "I have seen you, now I'm ready to die." Not the greeting I'd be looking for from my mom after a long journey. Tobias smears fish gall on his blind father's eyes (yuck) and it works. Tobit rejoices, embracing his son and praising God for his mercy. The Psalmist praises the Lord for upholding the oppressed. "The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down." And in Mark, Jesus quotes from the Psalms to refute the claim of the teachers of the law that the Messiah is the son of David. And the crowd listened to him with delight.
The director of children's ministry at our church retired just recently. She is an amazing woman who loves God and loves kids. One of her mottos was "loving children into God's kingdom, one child at a time." She was really into the one-on-one relationships. God seems to be the same way. The healing of Tobit required fish gall (kind of weird), but it also required face-to-face conversation, human touch and a one-on-one relationship. When I think of a miracle, I usually think of the parting of the Red Sea, Christ walking on water or something that Cecil B. DeMille would have put on film. The reality is that most of the miracles that Christ performed were the one-on-one variety. Christ usually talked to the person and he often physically touched the person. So why didn't Christ just wave his hand and say "no more leprosy in Samaria" or "no more blind beggars in Jerusalem?" There's no question in my mind that Jesus could have done this, so why didn't he? I don't know. Possibly it was to give us an example to follow. I know that I often get discouraged when I look at the problems in the world around me. These problems are often huge and numerous. I am small and I'm only one person. What can I do? It would appear hopeless. Not the way that Christ approached it. Following Christ's example, I can speak a word of encouragement. I can share my faith with someone whose faith is wavering. I can be compassionate and hold the hand of someone who is grieving. I can pray for someone who is ill. I can smile at the next person I meet. My prayer would be that we can all be open to being God's tools for performing miracles. One person at a time.
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