December 10, Day Five of Week Two – The Way of Peace though Love

Mark 1: 29 – 34  As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her.  So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.  That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

Help 5

Redeemed  Song Link

Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
Stop fighting a fight it’s already been won”

REFRAIN:  I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I’m redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet  REFRAIN

Because I don’t have to be the old man inside of me
‘Cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I’ve got a new name, a new life, I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me home  REFRAIN

Reflection:  We have all been sick, broken, struggling, full of the stains of our failures.  Those times when our world shrinks to the size of the sickness, the brokenness, the struggle, the failure.  Jesus cured the leper.  His love tells us we are enough, even as broken, sick, failed people.  When our world is small, we need to lean into the unconditional, forgiving love of Jesus.  But how do we do this?  Anne Lamott has a short book called, “Help.  Thanks.  Wow.  The Three Essential Prayers.”  She describes Help as “I’ve heard people say that God is the gift of desperation, and there’s a lot to be said for having really reached a bottom where you’ve run out of anymore good ideas, or plans for everybody else’s behavior; or how to save and fix and rescue; or just get out of a huge mess, possibly of your own creation.  And when you’re done, you may take a long, quavering breath and say, ‘Help.’ People say ‘help’ without actually believing anything hears that. But it is the great prayer, and it is the hardest prayer, because you have to admit defeat — you have to surrender, which is the hardest thing any of us do, ever.”  The call for help adds God’s hand to the mix, stirring in hope.  It brings a release that allows our collapsed world to expand just a little.  There’s a sigh of relief.  Until we ask for help, we are holding our breath at the bottom of our life

Action:  Today, say the hardest prayer.  Ask for help.  Let God in to stir your life with his loving hand.  We convince ourselves we can do this on our own, that American entrepreneurial spirit or your two old self reigning chaos saying you can do it yourself.  No one can do this world alone.  .  Once the ask for help has been made, we need to quiet ourselves so we can listen and watch for the help to appear.  Be ready for it to come in unexpected packages, looking nothing like the help we’d imagined.   It may not be a cure, the winning lottery ticket, the overnight sensation.  But it will be what moves you beyond the shrunken version of your life you’ve been living.

Dear God, Help!  We need you.  Move us past this stuck place.  Open our eyes to the help you place on our path.   Help us shake off these heavy chains, wipe away every stain.  Fill us with a hope that will carry us home.  Redeemed, Amen.

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