LENT: COMMUNITY

Mark 7

I’m going to be real honest with you….today has sorta been a tough day. I️ tend to error on the side of upbeat & positive, but I️ am missing being a part of the community. I️ miss people. Moreover, I wish I could see your faces. And most definitely your laughs. As a result, I️’m feeling a bit gloomy.

You are Designed for Relationship

I️ don’t want to zoom.

Or binge on insta.

I’m missing face-to-face, real honest interaction.

Because deep down, I️ know we were meant for more. We have been hard-wired for community. God has made us this way so that we turn to Him when we are struggling and have doubts. However, we also have been created to have a relationship with others (1 Cor. 12:27). So, it’s no wonder when we are isolated that it feels like something is not right.

There are pieces of ourselves that we will come to know only through living in community. -Sue A. Allen

Jesus Heals a Deaf Man

Today’s reading resonated with me..especially as I️ hone in on the healing story of the Deaf Man (v. 31-37), who is brought to Jesus by his friends (some incredibly persistent friends). Consequently, they begged [invite, invoke]Jesus to heal him.

Jesus takes the deaf man away from the crowd, privately, and what may seem strange…puts his fingers in his ears, and after spitting touched the man’s tongue. Looking to heaven he sighed deeply [expressing grief, anger, or desire] and prayed, “Be opened.”

Then, the man was completely healed and was able to speak plainly. Okay…backup a sec…because there is so much to learn here. First, we see that we have a job to do as believers. In other words, our purpose is to bring the lost and needy to Jesus so that they can be healed. Anyone who doesn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus is deaf and is in desperate need of his/her ears to be opened.

Second, we see a Personal God. Remember, the man cannot hear or speak. We see Jesus come to him one-on-one and display his love by physically touching the areas of his life that needed to be healed. That is to say, Jesus displays love at a level that could be understood…by meeting tangible, real needs.

Finally, Jesus reminds us to look to God and pray for the sick to be healed (v. 34). We cannot spiritually heal on our own, it is a work of God. “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped” (Is. 35:5).

The Surprise of Intentional Relationship

Ultimately, this story reminds me that we are to live in community. God has designed us for relationships. We are to be in a relationship with God, but also, we are to be in relationship with others. And I️ don’t know about you…but I️ am missing that right now. I️ am also reminded that I️ am to live in relationships intentionally. We live in a lost and broken, desperate, and deaf world. There are people out there who need the healing that only Jesus can provide. It is really clear in this story that God has designed to include us in His work. Above all, I️ hope it is encouraging to you to know that you have a purpose. God has prepared in advance good works for you to do (Eph. 2:10). Have you thought about how you can be of help to someone today?

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, please reveal to me people who need to have their ears opened. Use me to bring them to you. Also, open my ears to hear your truth and know that I am deeply loved by You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.