Thursday, October 22, 2009

Copying out another devotion

This one was sent via e-mail to a sick friend, so it was already typed. And now it's posted here without permission, but it is just a short excerpt from the lovely huge devotion book by Bo Giertz mentioned before. Get your own copy at CPH, it's only $8.00 at the moment and it has over 800 pages. An incredible value content and purchasing wise. (To Live with Christ.)

The Bible passage is the one where the friends let down their paralyzed friend through the roof and Jesus tells him that his sins are forgiven:
Mark 2:1-12

My son, your sins are forgiven. Mark 2:5

Bo Giertz writes.
How strange! Do you think this sick man and the people that carried him hoped to hear something else? Jesus saw their faith. It was as apparent as it could be. they had elbowed their way through the streets. the alley outside the house was so crowded with people they couldn't come any closer, so they climbed up onto one of the flat roofs near the house and carried their friend from roof to roof until they w3re right above the spot where Jesus was talking. There they tore away the plaster on the roof, removed the twigs and branches between the beams and created a hole big enough to allow them to lower the man down on his mattress. All of this with the assurance that the Man down there, the Master and Prophet, would help their sick friend.

Now Jesus tells him to be of good cheer. However, He doesn't say: "Be healed" or "Getup and walk." Instead, He says, "Your sins are forgiven."
When Jesus surprises us, it's always worthwhile to listen carefully and reflect. If we don't understand Him, it's usually because we're looking at things from the wrong perspective. We assume that the biggest issues in life are suffering, sickness, poverty, or injustice, and we think Jesus has come to put everything right or show us how we can make everything right. Jesus, however, shows us that behind all these big issues is a deeper reason, more serious damage, something that has to be straightened out first. That damage is evil itself, the power that defies God and destroys His creation. That power has forced itself into our lives and we see it everywhere--in our own egoistic nature, in the oppression and injustice that happens to others, in race discrimination, in class struggle, and in war. About all of this we say as it says in this parable: An adversary did this, and it's this ever present evil that has to be conquered in one way or another so we can come to grips with its consequences.

How do we do that? The first step is the restoration of the right relationship to God through the forgiveness of sins. The second step is coming to grips with suffering (sickness, temptation, injustice, or whatever it might be) either through Christ taking it way or through Christ giving us the power to carry it and transform it into a testimony and a victory in faith.

We'll be talking more in depth about this during the coming week.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You, who have the power to forgive sins because You have carried all sin on Your back and made atonement for everything that went wrong, You can help us out of all our woe and torment that sometimes makes life so bitter. We pray that You lighten the yoke and relive us from the burdens in the way You think is est. If it is Your will, let all that is evil disappear. Let good health come instead of torment, and strength instead of helplessness. However, if You would rather give us Your power in the midst of our powerlessness, and Your peace in the midst of sickness and death, we will praise You even then for Your tremendous gift and thank You with all our heart. Amen.

I thought it was important for this sick person to remember the forgiveness of sins as it is for all of us. For me, today, I will go with the "Be of good cheer." I hope she does to, she has been bearing a sad fate for quite some time. You may say a prayer for her, unbeknown.

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