Monday, February 2, 2015

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany (B), February 8, 2015 - Mark 1:29-39

Rembrandt: Healing of Peter's Mother-in-Law (1660)
Up from the Sickbed and Right to the Stove!

Up from the sickbed and right to the stove!
Into her work, Peter's moth'r-in-law dove!
Funny how quickly to work did she fly,
Asking, it seems, neither wherefore nor why;
Then the whole city showed up, while they pressed
Jesus to cure all the sick and possessed;
Out to the desert he went then to pray;
Simon and friends showing up in dismay
Maybe helped Jesus decide to move on -
Get out of town, while he could, before dawn.
Work's never done, and all need the good news,
Grace to the next one will God always choose.

Scott L. Barton
[In a sermon at Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, Joanna Adams once called Mark 1:31 one of the funniest verses in the Bible: "Speaking of get up and go!  Straight from the sickbed to the cookstove!"]

As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now  Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, ‘Everyone is searching for you.’ He answered, ‘Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.’ And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

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