Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
In our assigned Scripture passage today from the Gospel of Mark, we are told of concerned people who are rushing about bringing their sick on mats to touch Jesus. As was often the case in his ministry, Jesus along with his disciples had grown quite weary, and he encouraged a time alone to rest and reenergize before their journey continued.
Rest and reenergizing are important, not only in our physical lives but in our spiritual lives as well. During these times of dealing with a pandemic, we often associate bringing the sick as those who might be on stretchers or hospital trolleys. However, these are not the only ways of bringing those who are afflicted into the healing presence of our Lord and Savior.
Several times in the Gospel of Mark there is a phrase that repeats itself, as it does in this passage. This phrase is “crossed over” (Mark 6:53). Crossing over for us can mean leaving something behind, in order to be with those we love and trust. This demands a willingness to take risks, to step away from the familiar and routine, and to trust in following our Lord into something new, unpredictable, and perhaps even dangerous.
We read of the people of Gennesaret rejoicing over a visit from Jesus, who was there to help heal them. The people rushed to Jesus with their needs and their hopes because they recognized him. They knew Jesus as the Good Shepherd who loved his flock and cared for them always.
On this Sunday let us ask ourselves this question: “How welcoming are we of Jesus into our lives?” May we in our own ways also recognize that through Christ we can bring our needs and petitions for healing to him, this day and always.
David A. Marcus Jr., assistant to the president
Southern Province Provincial Elders’ Conference, Winston-Salem, NC