Wednesday: 23rd January, 2019
Reference text: Mark 3:1-6
Mark 3:1 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.
To the Jews, their temples and synagogues were the places to encounter God in worship and a location where discussions concerning His law and commands could be made. It was a special place for them and as we read multiple times in the Gospel, Jesus particularly frequented the synagogue. However, anytime He went in, something spectacular happened. Hence, the events described in today’s text should come as little surprise to us.
As I reflected on this, I wondered: given the high value placed on the synagogue and temples, what could one really expect to encounter there in terms of activities and people? Unlike the image of perfection we will imagine when we stand outside to view the grandeur of those buildings, whenever Jesus entered them, there seemed to always be something to deal with.
By replacing the image of the synagogue with our modern churches (not just the buildings, but also the people), we are given a glimpse of some of the many factions within. There are the seekers, who thrive on their ability to make an issue out of everything they see; those so glued to the letter of the law that calling them fault finders even seems appropriate. There is also the uncertain, who profess faith but aren’t even sure if they really believe. Those who will offer no response to the question of their faith.
Even the ignorant, who have no idea, not because they are pretending, but because they have made no attempts to know. Then there was the man with a paralysed hand: those made functionally disabled by one thing or another- physically, socially, psychologically, spiritually etc. These people are all in the body of Christ and they are mentioned to draw our attention to them.
My dear, the body of Christ is still a work in progress. We probably should have a better story to tell the world and a better picture to show, but sadly, we do not. That does not mean we pack up our bags and walk out. Like Jesus, we must become agents of change else, our churches, the body of Christ; will become nothing more than stone walls filled with plastic saints.