Liz Rayner 8.2.15 at the Open Door Community of Christ
Read Mark 1: 29-39
The part of this passage that I really connect with is paragraph 30-31, where Jesus heals Simon's Mother-in-law and she starts to serve as a hostess.
Before I explain further, I just need to name Simon's Mother-in-law, Perhaps the authors of Mark saw that nothing was added to this story by giving a name to Simon's Mother-in-law but for our purposes, she is worthy of a name. In fact after a quick search on Wikipedia I chose the most popular female name in New South Wales last year, Isabella. Naturally, I chose the most popular name in New South Wales because as we all know in ancient Galilee there were quite a few Australian migrants. (Historians have reported finding thongs amongst ancient sandals.)
So Isabella was saved from the brink of death, (remembering a fever in Jesus' time was often fatal) she is now whole, she has been returned to herself, she has been pulled back from the brink,.......How amazing! How wonderful! all the possibilities that now lay before her! and Isabella's first thought is…. “ok all better so I will pop off and make a cuppa and some lamingtons for all these blokes in my house.”
Yes cuppa making and welcoming guests was a women's role Jesus time but we diminish Isabella by not recognising the importance in her decision to serve, to welcome all comers, all the locals to her home. In getting the cuppa's she facilitated an opportunity for others to encounter the living Christ. In essence, Isabella used her newly healed self, the self, returned from the brink of death to facilitate a community, a community connected in Christ. In her humble act of service we see Christ's love and healing message being shared.
Isabella experienced/lived the wholeness of Christ and understood with wholeness comes a passion and responsibility to share the healing that Jesus Christ offers to every human being, where ever they're at. I know this because God has healed me, I have come back from the brink, not just the brink of death but from the brink of bad life choices, I have been pulled back from the brink on more than one occasion and no doubt like all of us I will have many more “brinks” in my future.
I know I am healed by the grace of God and sharing this life changing news with others is what it's all about! I know the healing power of Christ and like Isabella I want to create communities in Christ to share God’s grace and healing. I feel that's what happens at Open Door, not just when we gather here on a Sunday night but whenever we interact, we are in community and its my hope, indeed my prayer, that as each of us goes about our daily lives we take time to intentionally grow community whatever that may look like or where ever that may take us.
Start this week by being intentional in looking for the opportunity to share Christ’s love and healing and create those communities of joy, hope, love and peace that we are all about!