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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Scripture Reading: Mark 2:1–12
When he 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!” (NRSV)

Those four men carried the man who was paralyzed. They carried him and forged him a new path when his route was blocked by obstacles. They believed in him, and they believed in his mission. I’ve been him. I’ve been that paralyzed man. I suspect we all have at some point in our lives. We’ve had a mission. We’ve wanted to achieve something, reach a specific goal. But sometimes the obstacles we’ve encountered in our journeys seemed impossible to overcome on our own. Certain challenges are insurmountable without the help of others.

I’ve recently gone through a major transition in my career that has had some effect on every aspect of my life. I could not have survived this trying and exciting transition or attained my aspirations without the support of others—my spouse, parents, friends, and a coworker. They helped me reach my destination because they believed in me. They believed in my mission. They carried me and helped me find my way just as the four men helped the man who was paralyzed. I am so awesomely aware of how blessed that makes me, of how blessed the help of others makes each of us, of how we are all called to be present for those around us on life’s journey.

Dear God, thank you for surrounding us with the support we need to achieve your goals, and please help us see how we can provide that support to others. Amen.

Written by Katie Johnson, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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