Today’s scripture readings seem to be about relationships and money. Encouraging and convicting (for me) at the same time. In Romans, Paul details a long list of brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ. They all have different names, come from different places and have different gifts. And, like Paul, they all want to glorify God and present Jesus to the world. The psalmist proclaims, “I will praise your name for ever, Lord.” In the story from Luke, Jesus warns, “No servant can serve two masters. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Jesus is many things. Messiah, creator, friend, giver, forgiver, encourager, healer and wise guide. In today’s readings I see Jesus as healer and guide.
I recently had knee surgery. I’m not quite doing cartwheels yet, but my knee is so much better. To be honest it is a miracle. A miracle with many contributors. Some I met and some I did not. There was Cass, Gordon, Matt, Emma, Alyssian, Steve, Diane and Marta. The person in hospital admissions, the one who checked my vital signs, who shaved my knee, who administered anesthesia, the surgeon, a person to take care of me in post-op, someone to show me how to use crutches, my physical therapist, pharmacist and many more. All people with different names and different gifts, but all focused on getting me well. Kind of like Paul’s list. I think it’s easy at times to feel we are nobody. Just a tiny, insignificant cog in the big wheel. Paul makes it clear that, as members of the body of Christ, we each have a role to play and each role is important.
Christ’s words about money are so convicting. I always seem to fret and worry about money. And it seems so fruitless. I worry about money even when, looking back, I cannot think of a day in my life where I have been without food, shelter or clothing. I remember many years ago when I was laid off from a job. I thought it was the end of the world. What would we do? How would we live? I was so down I think I started to sing some Negro Spirituals on the drive home. I was especially fearful of how my wife would react. When I told Deb, her response was, “we’ll get by.” Apparently she did not hear me. I mean, this was the end of life as we knew it. “No,” she said, “we’ll just have to cut back.” And, of course, she was right. I wish my faith and trust in God were as strong as my wife’s.
Looking back, I realize that what, at that moment, appeared to be a horrible disaster, turned into a blessing. I would not have the opportunity to be in this ministry or even writing this reflection had I not lost that job. God works in mysterious ways.
All of us are involved, in one way or another, in the healing process of others. It doesn’t have to be someone with a bad knee. It could be someone who has lost a loved one, someone in need of encouragement or someone fearful about money. It could be mental, physical or spiritual healing. So many chances to be ambassadors for Christ. So many opportunities to share our gifts. We may not even know it at the time, but we may be participants in a miracle. My prayer today is for all those involved in healing and for the courage to step out in faith as a healer.
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