God is with me, but more,
God is within me, giving me existence.
Let me dwell for a moment on God's life-giving presence
in my body, my mind, my heart
and in the whole of my life.
Daily Prayer - 2013-03-12
God is with me, but more,
Lord, guide me always
to do your holy will
knowing that your strength
will carry me through.
My soul longs for your presence, Lord.
When I turn my thoughts to you,
I find peace and contentment.
After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids--blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me." Jesus said to him, "Stand up, take your mat and walk." At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, "It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat." But he answered them, "The man who made me well said to me, 'Take up your mat and walk.'" They asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, 'Take it up and walk'?" Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there. Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, "See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you." The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because he was doing such things on the sabbath.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
- The anonymous man lying by the pool called Bethzatha had waited thirty eight years for healing…He might be described as "living with desire" all that time. Our own prayers are not always answered immediately either. We too have to "live with desire". Remember T. S. Eliot's line: "But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting".
- The opponents of Jesus then criticise the man who had been cured for carrying his mat on the Sabbath. They use him to get at Jesus whom they, in John's words, now begin to persecute. We tend to think of goodness and kindness as attractive; yet here a compassionate act by Jesus evokes hostility. Why is this? In your experience have you ever seen a person's goodness evoking an evil response?
Dear Jesus, I can open up my heart to you.
I can tell you everything that troubles me.
I know you care about all the concerns in my life.
Teach me to live in the knowledge
that you who care for me today,
will care for me tomorrow and all the days of my life.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.
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