The Power of Touch
Mighty God, great and wondrous is Your presence. Your ways are just and true. May Your Word lead me in them.
Read Mark 1:29-34
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Christianity must resign from the proposition business and get into the people business. It’s time to start flexing faith’s relational muscles and build up a relational theology” (Leonard Sweet).
Mother-in-law jokes have maintained their popularity in Western culture over the years, despite questions about their appropriateness. Here, we know nothing of the nature of Simon’s relationship with his mother-in-law, but we do know that the family was sufficiently concerned about her health to ask for Jesus’ intervention. A simple eyewitness account of what happened tells the story of Jesus giving undivided attention to a very ordinary person in need, someone of no importance in the wider community. The description of him holding her hand and helping her stand speaks powerfully of the tender way he related to people then and continues to do now. The physical intimacy of touch and the invitation to trust him as he assisted her to her feet point to a God who desires to be deeply engaged with us wherever we are in our lives.
And he healed her. Whatever our questions over when and why God heals, there is no doubt about his supernatural intervention on occasion. The whole town gathered at Simon’s door, bringing with them those who needed that same freeing, healing touch. Imagine the scene. The Sabbath was over, the synagogues closed, and they came to him without fear of the law being broken. People were jostling to see and be seen, their voices were clamoring, and the cries of those in need of God’s touch were loud. Touch is a powerful thing. It can bring reassurance, well-being, and healing. Yet it can also be abusive or destructive. Many today are starved of a healing touch in their lives. For instance, consider the alarming and growing numbers of older people in Western society who are so isolated that they seldom experience human contact or touch.
Do you have elderly or disabled neighbors or friends? Is there something you could do regularly to bring God’s touch of love into their lives?
Lord Jesus, You brought warmth and love to those who needed it. Help me to be intentional in this regard, showing kindness and love to others around me.
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