Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
Winter can be a tough time for people. If you are a relatively healthy person most of the year, it is not uncommon to feel the affects of winter illnesses. SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder) is prevelent with the shorter days and less daylight. Colds and Flus make their way through schools, homes and family members. Not to mention, the chronic illnesses that many people bear each and every day. So it seems timely that we talk about illness and disease this week, especially the deadly disease with which we are all plagued- sin. Oh to be cured of them all!
Let’s top up our coffees and get started…
Readings for Jan. 26, 2020; Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1-9 (10-14); 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-25
People brought to [Jesus] all who were ill with various diseases…; and he healed them. Matthew 4:24b
What a glorious passage: people who were sick came to Jesus desirous of his healing, and he healed them, each and every one of them. Think about that. The people came to him, putting their trust in him to heal them of their sicknesses, however complex, and he healed them.
Jesus didn’t question their worthiness of healing. He didn’t separate them into lines of least worthy to most worthy of healing, he didn’t consider their previous behaviours that perhaps caused them to become ill in the first place, nor did he judge their types of illnesses. He simply healed them. They came to him sick and he healed them. End of story!
We find that difficult to believe, and even more difficult to follow, don’t we? Since we are all deathly ill in our sin, we too need the healing that only Christ can provide. However, don’t you find that we can hold back from going to the Great Physician because we think we are unworthy, or we deserve our illness, or our illness is incurable, or maybe we can’t bring ourselves to admit that we are in need of healing? We ignore the fact that we are sick, incurably sick, as if it’s going to go away on its own. But it won’t. These excuses we tell ourselves, and that Satan so willingly whispers in our ears, are absolute lies. Don’t listen to them. Turn your back on them and turn to Jesus. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that will keep Jesus from healing your most painful illness, your deepest, darkest sin when you go to him. Be cleansed. Be free of its burden and pain. Then go and proclaim to all how Jesus healed you and continues to heal you. Just as Jesus said to the demon possessed man after he healed him, he says to you, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” (Mark 5:19)
Don’t be like Jonah, the Old Testament prophet, who didn’t want to confront the Ninevites with their sin and reveal God’s healing forgiveness upon them because he felt they shouldn’t be worthy of it. (If you don’t know the story of Jonah, you can read it in the book of Jonah in the Bible.) Instead, follow in Jesus’ words and actions: Proclaim God’s love for them and salvation in Christ to all, and extend his forgiveness to all who seek it. Then together we can proclaim: Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. (Psalm 103:2-4) AMEN!
Prayer: Dear Lord, I come to you filled with the incurable disease called sin. In Jesus’ name I ask you to forgive me, cleanse me, renew me, and lead me all my days. Help me to rightly proclaim your love and forgiveness to all who come seeking your healing, your forgiveness, and your life eternal. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!