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Lenten Meditation for Wednesday, March 15, 2017

lenten candles

John 5:6 “Do you want to be made well?”

I’m not so sure. Because if I really want to be made well, then I have to acknowledge my true self, and in doing so, admit the need to be changed. Being in the presence of Jesus is a command to face our own honesty, our pain, our vulnerability, and to trust in the One who embodies all love and is the infinite source of grace in our lives. And that takes a whole lot of courage. Jesus understands. He looked with compassion on the sick man who had been lying on his mat in the same place for thirty eight years. Seeing beyond his obvious physical limitations, Jesus points him to facing the spiritual darkness in which he lives and asks him, “Do you want to be made well?” The man found it difficult to say yes. Paralyzed by his pain, his loneliness, perhaps his despair, he was unable to move from his own darkness into the light of hope. Jesus empowers him by commanding him to stand up, take his mat and walk. “At once the man was made well and he took up his mat and began to walk.”

We can experience spiritual paralysis in our lives as well. What do you think God is calling you to change in your life? Are you afraid of what that might look like? Are you ready to take the first step? Our fear of any change can keep us paralyzed, unable to attempt to put just one toe into the healing and living waters, unable to allow ourselves to be opened to both the trembling and the joy of new beginnings, new hope, new life. It all takes a leap of courage, and Jesus is there to command us to stand up and not be afraid, to give up those things that hinder us and to give ourselves to the power of his transforming love. Every time we open our hearts to Jesus, we follow his command to stand up and take that first step with him into the unknown, with the promise of his infinite grace always before us. And with joy, our Savior will say, “See, you have been made well!” 


Psalm 72

Jeremiah 3:6-18

Romans 1:28-2:11

John 5:1-18


This is both helpful and timely as many of us are facing new challenges both personally and politically.  In an uncertain future, doing what we have always done may be comfortable, but not productive.  Once, taking up our mats and walking may merely have meant learning to explore our relationship with God or our church; start a new career;  enter retirement with a feeling of strength, renewal and looking forward to the change rather than dreading it; or learning to navigate the muddy waters (or treacherous rapids) between raising children and caring for elderly or sick parents.  In these dark times, there are many more reasons to fear the changes that are coming, and many more reasons to step out on faith, and let God guide us through this new frontier.

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