Hunkered Down Devotion

Mark 2:1-5 (Voice)
1-2 Some days later when Jesus came back to Capernaum, people heard that Jesus was back in town and many gathered at the house where He was staying. Soon the crowd overflowed from the house into the streets, and still more people pressed forward to hear Jesus teaching the message of God’s kingdom. 3 Four men tried to bring a crippled friend to Him; 4 but since the crowd prevented their carrying him close enough to get Jesus’ attention, they climbed up onto the roof, opened a hole in it, and lowered the paralyzed man on his mat down to Jesus.  
5 Jesus recognized the faith of these men.  
Jesus (to the paralyzed man): Son, your sins are forgiven.


I have a group of friends for seminary and every Tuesday we ‘meet’ over email and share prayer requests and spend time in prayer with and for each other.  It has become an important an meaningful time in my week.  Over the years we have tried, with varying levels of success to actually meet – virtually – via zoom or google, or whatever, on a regular basis and have a time of prayer, devotion, and/or to support each other in our various ministry contexts.

I thought about that group as I read this passage from Mark today.  Specifically, I thought about all the things – minor, trivial things – that we have let stand in the way of our gathering together and building each other up, and in so doing building up God’s kingdom.  We have been deterred by busy schedules, 45-minute free zoom call limits, time zones, etc.

And I thought about the determination and faithfulness of this crippled man’s friends.  How different would his story and his life have been if they would have been deterred and turned away so easily?  We certainly wouldn’t know this story, and more importantly, that man would not have had his life changing, limb-healing, encounter with Jesus Christ.  

The lesson for me, and I think for all of us in this gospel passage today is that, there will always be roadblocks, there will always be obstacles that can provide a ready made excuse for why you didn’t make it to church, or Bible study, or you didn’t get that quiet time, or why you haven’t spent any time in prayer lately – or simply why you haven’t connected with the people that help you connect to Jesus.  But the effort is always worth it.

Sharing God’s Love,
Chip  

Prayer:  Lord, strip away the obstacles that stand between us and you, and connect us to you and each other. Amen.

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