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March 6, 2009
"But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins..." He said to the paralytic, "I tell you, get up, take your mat, and go home." He got up, took his mat, and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!" (Mark 2:10-12).
How many times have you read or heard the Gospel accounts of Jesus' miracles and thought, "Well, of course He had authority to do that – He's God?" For us it's easy to play Monday morning quarterback - we already know that Jesus is the Christ. But what about those who don't? Although nobody now alive has had the joy of knowing Jesus when he walked on Earth, we have a different privilege in having the whole story of God's redemptive work laid out for us in the Bible. Much like the paralytic, those of us paralyzed by sin in our lives need God's grace and forgiveness. We need to hear God's Word.
We want St. John's to be known as a place where people meet Jesus. We meet Jesus through the work of the Spirit, Scripture, and Sacrament, and through fellowship with and ministry by our sisters and brothers in Christ. The kinds of miracles we witness and by God's blessing sometimes participate in are not as obvious as the healing of a paralytic man. Yet the miracles of faith granted and faith strengthened are just as real and just as amazing as seeing that man get up, take his mat, and go home. The fact is that Christ has given us the authority to participate in and complete His work on Earth (John 14:12, Matthew 28:18-20). The Spirit residing in us can and does reach others through us. Realize that every time you interact with anyone, you have been blessed with the opportunity to share your faith and Christ's love. What an amazing and awesome opportunity this is!
We have been blessed with faith even though we have not seen Jesus. Let us make our Savior's joy complete. With the authority that Christ himself gave us, we can boldly go about our work of introducing others to Christ here at St. John's.
Lord Jesus Christ, we want you to be the only authority in our lives. Cast away the sin that separates us from you and bring us to unity of purpose in sharing you and your love with others. In your name we pray, Amen.