Saturday, March 20

Lenten Meditations 2012

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Saturday, March 20

Psalm 107:33-43; Psalm 108:1-13; Exodus 2:23-3:15; I Corinthians 13:1-13; Mark 9:14-29

The burning bush experience was for Moses a necessary sign, an undeniable, in-your-face encounter. It spoke to God’s power to free his chosen people from decades of slavery. It helped Moses trust in God’s ability to work through him, even though he considered his public speaking abilities to be limited.

But both the sign and God’s call were terrifying. Moses turns up again just prior to today’s Gospel reading, appearing with Elijah in the transfiguration. This mountaintop experience certainly frightened and confused the disciples, but there was certainly no denying that it happened, and it helped build their trust in Jesus.

Then Jesus is asked to do something, anything, about the boy with the evil spirit, who is thrown into uncontrollable convulsions, and who cannot even speak. His father is at his wits’ end. He has never had a normal relationship with his son. He doesn’t know what Jesus can possibly do for him, or what was fair to ask. So he vaguely begs Jesus, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“If.” Such a small word. But it shows that there was a small grain of faith there, a dim hope that all was not lost. Jesus’ dramatic and complete healing is both for the boy and his father, who can also begin to heal. A restored relationship with his son can now begin.

What do we bring to Jesus? The smallest measure of faith mixed in with doubt? What can’t he do with that? Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief!

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