“Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her at once. Jesus came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.” [Mark 1:30-31]
Last week Jesus rebuked an unclean spirit relieving a man of his torment and this week Jesus brings healing to Simon’s mother. Notice that we are still in the first chapter of Mark’s Gospel! Notice that Jesus’ presence in the early verses of this Gospel brings healing, and wholeness, even as Jesus anticipates a response from us. You might remember Jesus’ invitation to Simon and Andrew, “follow me.” In this passage, Simon’s mother-in-law, having been healed, gets up and begins her normal day. She reenters her cultural setting and heads to the kitchen to prepare a meal realizing she has one more to feed than normal. She is not healed to serve these men. She is healed to be brought back from the isolation of illness into community. So, I wonder what is keeping you isolated? What do you need to be lifted out of so that you can be restored to community using whatever gifts you have been given? It seems Simon’s mother-in-law had the gift of hospitality. What are your gifts? Isolation and loneliness are rampant in our culture today. How might Jesus restore us to community?
Communing God, you gather all peoples from east and west and north and south to be in community. I know that at times I isolate myself. I have even experienced, at times, loneliness. Give me the courage to take Jesus’ hand so that I might be lifted up and made whole in community. Amen.