Tuesday November 24, 2020
Begin this new day by praying this prayer out loud. As you are able, consider kneeling as a physical expression of your commitment to Jesus as Lord of your life and the one you desire to lead you this day. Alternatively, you might consider placing a hand over your heart as you pray this prayer.
God of rescue and restoration, thank You for Your great and beautiful mission in the world. Here I am Lord, fill me with Your Spirit and send me.
Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
Seems like a pretty straight forward question to me: “Do you want to get well?” But, then again, I haven’t been an invalid for 38 years frequenting the same places for help. On the surface, it seems like a simple yes or no answer is required. Jesus heals the man without a yes or no so it seems he understands the intention of the man’s heart. Perhaps, this invalid is a mixed bag like all of us. Not fully handicapped to the point he can’t move around some and make a living off of the charity of others. Thirty-eight years is a long time to suffer with whatever condition he has but he’s also been well enough to live and eat. He’s not completely incapacitated.
Healing would mean a new life. A life with greater responsibility. A life of new, beautiful possibilities but also a journey into the unknown. It’s hard to cut loose from the anchor of the familiar. What are you tied to that is keeping you from the freedom Christ offers? Is your healing a scary proposition? If so, why?
When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer.
Father, help me to live this day to the full,
being true to You in every way.
Jesus, help me to give myself away to others,
being kind to everyone I meet.
Spirit, help me to love the lost,
proclaiming Christ in all I do and say.
The First 15
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