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Daily Prayer - 2017-01-13

Presence

"I stand at the door and knock," says the Lord.
What a wonderful privilege
that the Lord of all creation desires to come to me.
I welcome His presence.

Freedom

Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free
from any form of racism or intolerance.
Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal
in your loving eyes.

Consciousness

How do I find myself today?
Where am I with God? With others?
Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks.
Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.

The Word of God

Mark 2:1-12

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, "Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, "Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Stand up and take your mat and walk'? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" - he said to the paralytic - "I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home." And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • A dramatic story! You could become involved in it by identifying with the paralyzed man, one of his friends, or one of those gathered around Jesus. Where you place yourself will affect how you experience the unfolding of events. Allow yourself to be surprised!
  • What might have been a simple healing turns into a tense theological confrontation. It is Jesus who instigates this by forgiving the paralytic’s sins (which he wasn’t asked to do). The scribes who are present consider this to be blasphemy. Only God can forgive sins. Jesus then uses his power to heal the body as a sign that he has authority to heal the soul also. Mark is already signalling the charge on which the Jewish authorities will later seek the death penalty for Jesus – blasphemy.
  • Note - the paralytic is dependent on his friends to bring him to Jesus. It is their faith that Jesus acknowledges and responds to. The paralytic himself never utters a word throughout.

Conversation

I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read.
What part of it strikes a chord in me? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to me?

Conclusion

I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Amen

If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.

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