The Lectionary readings for this coming Sunday include Psalm 111 and Mark 1:21-28.
Our reading from the Gospel of Mark last week ended with Jesus calling four fishermen. The motivation behind calling Simon, Andrew, James and John was so that Jesus might teach them to become fishers of people. Then, seemingly in an instant, while Zebedee is still sitting in the boat trying to figure out what just happened, they go to Capernaum. Jesus enters the synagogue and then, my oh my, do things ever get interesting.
Take some time this week to sit with this passage from God's word. Read it through once, and then listen carefully for what God might be saying to you this day. Too often we think that God's word was for "those people" in "that time," but God's word is for all people in all of time. What strikes you about this scene in the synagogue?
Then, putting yourself in the story as a scribe, read through the text again. Although the text does not tell us whether or not a scribe was even present, still I invite you to enter the story as an accepted authority of the time. How might you hear the story differently as one who is often looked to as "the person with all the answers"? Are you drawn to Jesus? Are you jealous of Jesus?
Finally, read the story and try to imagine that you have been rejected by the people. Perhaps you have a disease or some other situation that causes you to be perceived as "unclean." Maybe you have entered quietly into the synagogue on the Sabbath, hopeful that no one will notice you and throw you out. You haven't heard anything about Jesus beforehand, so you are amazed at his teaching--as are so many others in the room. How do Jesus' words and actions impact you? Does Jesus bring hope into the room? Thankfully, then, as now, Jesus has a message for each and every broken person (and make no mistake, that means all of us).
As always, I look forward to seeing you in worship on Sunday. How fitting that this week we will have a Service of Healing and Wholeness. Let us gather together and claim the healing power that is still Jesus' to impart!