Week of: June 3, 2018
Scripture: Mark 2:23 - 3:6
... [He] said to the man, "Stretch out your hand."
(Mark 3:5, NRSV)
The Pharisees were on a mission; they followed Jesus and the disciples, waiting for them to make mistakes. On this occasion, they caught the disciples plucking grain on the sabbath. You could imagine the Pharisees scribbling the details of the infraction in their notebooks.
Later, Jesus encountered a man with a withered hand. You can still sense their glee throughout the ages; they knew they would catch Jesus working in the synagogue on the sabbath! Before he healed the man, Jesus asked them a question. Which is lawful on the sabbath — doing good or doing harm?
Despite knowing the answer, the Pharisees refused to speak. Scripture records that their hard hearts saddened Jesus. The man with the withered hand, however, responded to Jesus' call. He stretched out his hand and was healed. The Pharisees did not respond. They stood silent, their withered souls rejecting Christ's healing power, ignorant of their need for healing.
As busy worship artists, it is easy for us to ignore our own spiritual health. How often do we, like the Pharisees, ignore a restorative opportunity God presents to us? How often do we stand like a stone, set in our pride?
God's healing is but a touch away.
Gracious, healing God, when my creative spirit withers, help me to reach for you.
Nancy Yager Smith
Somerville First UMC