Friday, November 10, 2006

Whom shall you carry?

For the last nine weeks I have been learning to exegete passages in an advance Greek class. The pericope we have slept with, ate with, argued with and fought has been Mark 2:1-12. The story of the paralytic and the four friends. Not to mention the question of authority that Jesus claims in the passage.
I have utilized an excessive amount of resources to investigate the historical context, the composition, and the engagements of audience. I have read many different English translations, looked at internal and external evidence for the pericope and the translations. I even tried my hand at rough translation and illustrate the disposition of the pericope. This left me with many questions.
Since I only have experienced Greek for fifteen weeks I am a bit of a novice. I have only a small range of understanding and three other classes and a job to compete from my time. This leaves me struggling immensely. I have sought to read commentary after commentary to glen a bit of wisdom and further understanding. I have meditated and prayed over the text. I have patiently waited for a voice on high.
So far I am left with one emerging thought and countless reasons I am wrong. This thought you ask…Jesus heals the paralytic via the fours faith. A faith that in founded in the conviction to assist one that cannot do it alone. A faith that cost them much. They are responsible to restore the building to its original shape and possibly face penalties for their actions. They knew this going into this. They were willing to face physical, mental, and spiritual penalty to assist one that could not.
How often do we find ourselves in a situation like this? How often do we respond with utter and total abandon for self and sacrifice our very life? Imagine a world filled with a Christianity that sacrificed self for those that cannot. A letting go of one master to be absorbed and oblige to another.
Is this possible in our nations today? YES! I see Jesus challenging us to let go of the consumer mentality, the denominational pettiness, the prideful insecurities, the self righteous voice and claim, the hording of resources…People of God, this is a call to stewardship, a demanding of more, and full acceptance of grace and return to holiness, and magnified and proclaimed gospel of transformation. This is the hermeneutical bridge to salvation.
In a world full of magical enchantment and global consumer oligarchy we are to witness to another way, the way, the light, the truth. We are not to posses it, nor with hold it. We are to be transformed by it, sacrificing all in the process. We are to reorientation our eyes to the hills, towards Christ. We are to lower those that cannot towards an awaiting Jesus, who is already in the process of healing. As we move towards Advent let us be reminded that Christ was born to this world to penetrate the sin that binds us. This same Christ died and bore our sin. This same Christ conquered our death. This Christ heals those that cannot heal themselves. This same Christ restores the Body one paralytic at a time.

So I ask…whom shall you carry and what shall you sacrifice?

4 comments:

Stushie said...

"We are to lower those that cannot towards an awaiting Jesus, who is already in the process of healing. As we move towards Advent let us be reminded that Christ was born to this world to penetrate the sin that binds us. This same Christ died and bore our sin. This same Christ conquered our death. This Christ heals those that cannot heal themselves. This same Christ restores the Body one paralytic at a time"

These are beautiful words of faith. Well written and expressed, Pappy.

Karen Wagner said...

After spending last fall with the same text, I was astonished at the faith of the four. We are all carried by our communities of faith. The Body of Christ prays for us when we cannot pray for ourselves, as you have so demonstrated the last few weeks in your prayers for me my friend. When we are paralyzed by whatever it is that holds us, the community takes us to the Great Physician, Christ. Sometimes we carry others and sometimes we are the one on the κραβαττον!

Peace.

John Shuck said...

Nice words, Pappy! This is a great time for you. Wrestling with the Greek texts with seminary classmates is a privilege and honor. As much as the other hassles of seminary may take up much of your time, you will do well to be grateful for the opportunities to do good study. Many blessings to you on your seminary studies and thanks for the insights regarding the community of faith.

John Shuck

Pappy McVulgar said...

Thank you Stushie, Karen, and John...I was very nervous to share this with anyone.
I am thankful that I am here in seminary and am being challenged by everything. I pray that we as children of God shall exhibit a passion and hunger to be the four and accept our time as the paralytic.
Blessings to you all and thank you for the encouragement! I needed it today.