Mark 1: 29-39
Kool-aid or the Cup of Suffering
I have been thinking about rules and the law. People are frightened and they make rules to make them feel safe, but they will destroy regulations and rules if they think they are going to get an advantage in wealth and power. Some friends on Facebook last night told me I had drunk the Kool-aid of the liberal press. It bothered me, not because I was offended, but because I act, not on my beliefs from the liberal media, but because of the example of the Jesus that I find in the Gospels. If the Example differed from what I heard or read, I wouldn’t pay any attention to the media.
But what does that look like? What did Jesus do? There is not enough room to write it all here. It is a lifetime journey of study and transformation, but the Scripture this week is about Jesus’ early healings. That is a good place to start. He healed Simon’s mother-in-law who was sick with a fever. (Did she have the flu?) He did it by going to her bedside, taking her hand, lifting her up, and healing her. None of that seems unique or unusual to us, but in Jesus time and culture, it was revolutionary. It was the Sabbath. The Ten Commandments said no work was to be done on the Sabbath. Surely healing is work. The person he healed was a woman. Women were not important. They were not even allowed in the main part of the Temple. He went to her bedside and he touched her. For a man to go into a woman’s sleeping space and to touch her was anathema. Then he healed her. Jesus broke at least five important Jewish laws in order to perform a miracle.
He came not to destroy the Law but to complete it. So in breaking all those laws and rules what did He complete? They called him Rabbi that means Teacher so as His ministry progressed He was acknowledged as well versed in the Law. He knew what he was doing. He found healing to be more important than the rules. Healing was an act of love. He was acknowledging the importance of Simon’s mother-in-law with His actions, not because she had ever done anything to prove herself, not even because she asked as far as we know, but because she was a child of God and Jesus saw in His mind’s eye God healing her because God loved her. It was a risky move. It was because he overstepped the bounds of the political and religious power structure that the powerful eventually crucified Him.
No, Friends on Facebook, I haven’t drunk the liberal media’s Kool-aid. I am just constantly looking into Jesus’ eyes and watching Him to see what I am supposed to be saying or doing. I get it wrong sometimes. I take my cues from the Jesus I see in the least and the last, their generosity with what they have, their caring for one another, their trust in Him. I am constantly learning. I don’t pretend to know what is best for other people. It seems our government right now thinks they know, but I do try to complete the Law with God’s Love and He gives me His Grace to fix my mistakes. I’d rather err on the side of love than assume someone is undeserving of help or caring because of the color of their skin, the choice of their way to worship God, the country where they were born, the person they love, the lack of wealth, their mental or physical health or even the way they have lived their life. If doing that is the Kool-aid of the liberal media, then I do drink it though I think it might be more correct to say I drink of the Cup of Jesus suffering because God walks with the suffering, sharing in it with them and challenging me to relieve suffering sometimes directly and sometimes through the way I vote.
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