Friday greetings! This is John welcoming all who pass by to zeph@10 … and smugly smiling at the thought that he doesn’t have to remember who he is commenting/liking as this morning!
Change ? I hear a lot about how the world is never going to be the same again…I do hope so, but change comes painfully, one gut-wrenching moment at a time… we need some constants in there with us.
Bear with me while we have a look at a familiar (old assembly) story from the Gospel. It’s the man who couldn’t walk but is taken by his friends to see Jesus because they know he can fix him. Luke 5: 1-26. It’s Luke telling the story so there’s not much detail and we have to fill the gaps from our experience and our imagination. (Frant on Luke’s general lack of attention to detail available on request). Luke says, “Some men came carrying a paralysed man…” That’s all ? How many of them? Are they friends ? We might assume that, or it could have been a random mission to get people to Jesus, because he can fix them…? (an aside here—how come the same writer in Acts 12 tells how the angel got Peter dressed and even names the servant girl?) Space here to read the Scripture (both if you’re quick)
Back to the story…
Even friends might have found it difficult to persuade him to come with them. Excuses ?
“I don’t want to”
“No-one can fix me”
“He’s too busy, other people are more important””
“What if he sees how rubbish I am?”
I could manage most of them— and some more…
Pray that we can remove our blocks to letting Jesus deal with our issues…
When they get there, they can’t get in. Embarrassed at being conspicuously needy, I would be asking to go home, “Thanks, lads, you’ve done your best. Take me home. We can have a cup of tea.”
Do his friends give up ? Certainly not. Unlike their immobile friend, they are not risk averse. They move to take him up the stairs on the outside of the house. On his stretcher. This is seriously scary. One tilt to the side and he’s flying through the air. Front end higher and he slides off, taking friend(s?) with him to the bottom of the steps. It would be understandable if here he were to say, “Thanks, lads, you’ve done your best. Take me home. We can have a cup of tea.”
On the roof (flat, obv.) they set him down and start to clear a stretcher-sized hole in the roof. One of them fetches ropes. The terrified man is now desperate, pitch rising. “Thanks, lads, you’ve done your best. Take me home. We can have a cup of tea—and a biscuit, I’m sure I’ve got some biscuits.” The answer, yes, almost always, will involve food. Perhaps they had a biscuit, or a Chorley Cake, or…(supply your own comfort food) for him in his moment of stress?
Pray that we can help soothe others’ fears with a right word, or action, or cake at the right time
Carefully, without tilting to one side or one end, they let him down, in front of the crowd and, brilliantly, right in front of Jesus, who without pausing, does the business and sends him, walking, apparently without leaping, home.
Luke doesn’t tell us how the householder with a hole in his roof felt about the whole thing.
Much gratitude (if grudgingly) to the people we know (friends, family, Zephyrs) who know what we need, who go to considerable lengths (sometimes using unorthodox means) to make it happen, who fill the gap in our abilities to do what is necessary.
Pray as God leads; as you cope with stroppy people who don’t want to do what you know they need; as you’re carried; as you come face to face with Jesus; as you walk free…
Thank you, team zeph! Go and be yourselves in this day…