Community and Calling
As disciples of Christ, we understand that we are empowered by the Spirit to carry on with the work that Jesus began during his earthly ministry. In the beginning of Mark’s Gospel, we are stunned by the amount of activity in just a few short verses. If this is a model for our own ministry, then we get a clear picture that it will be busy! In today’s reading, we get the idea that much of Jesus’ ministry—and our own ministry—will be about healing.
Healing is challenging for us. Unless we are health-care professionals, trained to care for a person’s physical or emotional well-being, we often feel at a loss to help. We send cards and offer prayers, but we fail to see our ministry beyond these actions.
When Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law, he reminds us that healing goes beyond physical well-being. When Jesus heals her, her fever goes away. Even more, her community and sense of calling are restored. Her illness kept her from being a full part of her family and surrounding community. It also prevented her from living out her sense of purpose. Jesus’ healing changes this.
As Christ’s followers, how might our ministry of healing go beyond the physical? How might each of us be part of a team of healers, offering people hope when they feel at a loss to contribute within their communities, or lose their sense of purpose for life? You may not be able to cure a fever, but you may be able to remind someone of their value within your community of faith. You may not be able to restore someone’s vision, but you may be able to help someone reimagine how God is calling them. In Jesus’ understanding of healing, there is lots of work for every one of us.
Melissa Johnson, pastor, Palmer Moravian Church, Easton, Pennsylvania
Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
February 8, 2015