There is a theme that jumps out at me from these three readings assigned for today. In John's Gospel Jesus heals the sick man by the Beth-zatha pool. He does so on the Sabbath. But we are told that there were many invalids lying there: blind, lame and paralyzed. Many lying there. So much hurt, so much pain, so much loneliness is evoked by this description. And yet Jesus does help, does heal one of them.
In our Judges reading we are coming close to the end of the saga of Samson, who is having some fun with Delilah, who is trying to betray him. In Acts, Stephen is on trial and is in the midst of his very long narrative, doing his best to persuade and prove Jesus as the fulfillment of all that had gone before him. And lastly, today we celebrate (in Holy Women Holy Men) the life and martyrdom of Jonathan Myrick Daniels, who was murdered in Selma, Alabama saving the life of Ruby Sales.
Jesus is on his journey to the Cross and Resurrection and Ascension. Samson is on his journey, having already done great deeds, but is starting to falter. Stephen is on his journey to being the first martyr recognized by the Church. Jonathan Daniels was on a journey to help stop rampant racism, saving the life of a young African American woman (who I have had the privilege of meeting at the church I used to serve at). All of these people on a journey that is all too short and yet they made a substantive and palpable difference to the world they were journeying through. It is, perhaps, easy to get bogged down in the sorrow and loss and pain. These individuals are clear reminders that we are all on the journey, together, and that we are called to make that mark in the world around us, while we have the gifts and the time to do so. All of these individuals are reminders that we need to reach out to those who cross our path and help them as best as we can. And that has to be enough to lift any possible cloud of sadness that might try to envelope us. For there is joy and wonderment to be found in these small moments.
Reach out to someone today and lend them your hand of love and the grace of your assistance.
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.