December 11, 2017
That evening a lot of demon-afflicted people were brought to him. He relieved the inwardly tormented. He cured the bodily ill. He fulfilled Isaiah’s well-known sermon: He took our illnesses, He carried our diseases. (Matthew 8:16-17 MSG)
Disease Carrying Redemption
We are a bug-phobic society. We have disinfectant sprays, wipes and gels for our hands, the air in our houses and cars and for any surface we can attack. It has even got so ridiculous that kids can’t build up normal immune systems because they aren’t exposed to enough bugs – they need to eat more dirt.
The story of “God with us” is not cosmetic or antiseptic in any way. The things we fear – illness, both mental and physical, death, infectious people – he embraced, touched and helped compassionately. Meditating recently on the phrase he “took/carried” our fearful things was a comfort to me in a strange way.
My weaknesses, sheepishness over less noble thoughts and actions are places of safety for Jesus. He is not afraid of that which creates anxiety in us. These moments are moments of invitation to deeper relationship with the God who is with us to the end – no matter how gritty or embarrassing.
A Prayer for Today
Loving Father, you come to us in Jesus, in our need, in the needs of the world. We come in our weakness and failure, in our hopes and our dreams. You are present even when we fail to see you. Free us in this season of hope and light to care for those who find this season a burden. Lift us all with your love in and through one another …. for Jesus’ sake