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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The Good Deed

 Mark 3: 1-6

“Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” 4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. 5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.”


In this passage Jesus is in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Jesus’ presence there attracted the attention of the Pharisees and they watched him closely to see if he broke the Sabbath law.


Jesus had the power to help the man with the withered hand, to improve his quality of life, to make him whole.  Not to do so, to turn his back on him even though he could help him, would have been evil.  Jesus had the choice of performing either a good deed or an evil deed.  The good deed would clearly violate the law.  The evil deed would comply with the law.  


So, which of these would the Pharisees prefer that he do on the Sabbath?  Their silence implied that they preferred the evil deed.  Christ chose the good deed. And because of this the Pharisees plotted to kill him.


Choosing the path of love, mercy and forgiveness is the spiritual way, the way of light, the way of Christ.


“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17)

Saturday, January 16, 2021

My Granddaughter

 My granddaughter was born this week on Tuesday, January 12, 2021, just four days ago.  I held her when she was two days old.  I had forgotten how small a two day old child feels against you as you hold her close.  To be honest, I was a little nervous.

My granddaughter looked at me and wrinkled her eyes and stared, trying to figure me out.  I guess the whole world is a strange place to her, especially the people.   She cries when she has her diaper changed.  Being exposed to the light and the air is strange to her.  She loves to snuggle and be swaddled in blankets, things that make her feel like she is back in the familiar safety of the womb.

She also loves to eat and she does so with great enthusiasm until all of the bottle is sucked dry.  It is funny that she was born knowing how to do this, especially since she was fed through her navel for her whole life in the womb.  But just as surprising is that my daughter became a mother overnight.  She knows what to do and how to do it and holds her child like an old pro.  I watch her go about the business of caring for her daughter and I am amazed.  

Isn’t this the little girl who made her younger brother climb the stairs ahead of her, using him for monster bait?  Isn’t this the little girl who would come down the stairs after a hard night’s sleep with chewing gum stuck in her hair?  Isn’t this the little girl that stood on a stool in front of the bathroom mirror watching me shampoo her hair and laughing as I turned her soapy hair into crazy sculptures?

She is a mother now.  And I have a wonderful granddaughter, whose hair I will one day sculpt as she laughs in the mirror.

And all is well in this world.