February 20, 2019
Scripture Luke 6:12-19
He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
Luke 6:17-19 NRSV
Do you live in the same place where you were born? Probably not, but it still happens. Instead, a much larger number of us live in a different area than our place of origin. We moved away for all kinds of reasons: starting school, joining the military, starting a new job. We keep on moving because of promotions, changing employers, or just looking for new experiences in making the move. When we pick up and go, for whatever reason, we might say that we are “moving out.” Sometimes, this activity of moving out affects us deeply enough to produce transformation: a significant change in our view of life, the way we understand ourselves, and even a change in our living.
Something like a transformation is occurring in our scripture lesson. We find Jesus continuing a journey that began at his baptism with John and has continued throughout Galilee: healing and teaching; encountering crowds; and recruiting his first disciples. As Jesus continues his ministry, a large number of followers attend to him. Jesus selects twelve disciples, and continues to heal and teach. Through these healings, the power of Christ is unmistakable. All manner of people want to get close to Jesus: to touch him and to feel, and receive, his healing power. Indeed, something new had happened to them through the touch of Christ and through his ministry. These are powerful acts of God, and are recorded faithfully and consistently in the Gospels. If we can maintain curiosity and an openness to God, we can find much deeper meaning to these verses and to the purpose and existence of Christ himself.
Jesus was revealing a lot about himself through his ministry: Jesus was on the move. He had left Nazareth and Capernaum. Certainly, he had more to do and more to say. In doing this, others became more aware of him and his ministry, and God’s power in Christ. There is another kind of power for us, as well, in this unselfish act of sharing. You and I have many gifts, and we can share nearly all of them with others. So, we have to ask ourselves about our priority in sharing our gifts: not just our financial assets, but our gifts of compassion and empathy and love! In doing so, we come closer to the acts and teachings of Christ. We begin to understand something of the power of God that remains in Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord.
Today, can you and I “move out” and into a new place of faithful service to God-
and God’s kingdom?