GiftsEden On The Bay

All are welcome ~ Come as you are

Eden Evangelical Lutheran Church ~ Munising, Michigan

Elaine Robbins - 07/18/2021

What struck me about the Gospel today is how people were drawn to Jesus. Even the disciples, those who are closest to him, gather around Jesus when they return from their missions. When people saw Jesus and his disciples board a boat, they hurried by foot so that they would be there when Jesus went ashore. So many people went to meet the boat that when Jesus and the disciples arrived there was a ‘great crowd.’ When Jesus and his disciples crossed over and came to land at Gennesaret people at once recognized Jesus and rushed about to bring him their sick. Like the hemorrhaging woman, they joined the crowd believing that just touching the fringe of his cloak would bring healing.

Whenever I read about Jesus drawing throngs of people wanting to be near him and to touch him I think of Elvis (maybe because he was also a king, the king of rock and roll?) I remember being a little girl and seeing Elvis on tv, with crowds of people screaming and crying, excited to be near him. I remember him reaching down from the stage and touching hands with people at his concerts. And I remember him wearing scarves and throwing those sweaty scarves to the crowd-and even though I was only seven when he died, I remember thinking that was really gross! Elvis is always my frame of reference for how people might react when they have the opportunity to be in the presence of Jesus.

In the Gospel today, I am also struck by the faith of Jesus’ followers. The people of Gennesaret, bringing those in need of healing to him. Can you imagine physically bringing an ill or hurt person to Jesus? That couldn’t have been easy, or even safe for the person who needed healing. It would have taken several people, people who believed in the power of Jesus, working together to bring the body of a sick person out of their home to the place where they hoped they would see Jesus.

I also wonder what the people who swarmed Jesus had walked away from to be near him? Did they leave their work-either their job outside the home where they risked punishment for leaving while they were ‘on the clock’ or their work at home where chores and meals need to be done on schedule to keep the home running smoothly?

And I think about Jesus' reaction to the crowd pressing in on him. Everyone wanted something from him. From what we have read today, we know that Jesus reacted with compassion and love. He saw those that were ‘like sheep without a shepherd’ and taught them. He healed many. I believe that the teaching was as life changing as the healing. BEING TAUGHT BY JESUS HIMSELF????? Can you imagine? Thinking about that puts a little tingle in my belly.

But, what does all this have to do with us today? “What about me? What am I supposed to learn from this?” Those are questions I like to ask myself when I study the Bible.

Today I would like to focus on what we can learn from the crowd-the nameless people whose faith draws them to Jesus. They flock to the flesh and blood Jesus. What they know of him must differ greatly from what we know. They know what they have heard of the miracles he has done. We know his life, his death and that he is indeed the Son of God, part of our Holy Trinity. They leave their homes and travel to see Jesus in his fully human form. We are able to seek Jesus in all times and in all places. They have a fire in their heart to follow Jesus. We…...We what? We have more knowledge of Jesus than the crowds that followed him but what do we do with it? Do we bring our sick to Jesus? Do we talk to Jesus daily? Do we lean fully on him? Do we live out our command to love one another? Do we put that love into action by caring for our neighbor? Do we have a fire in our heart to truly follow Jesus?

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Eden Evangelical Lutheran Church ~ Munising Michigan ~ An ELCA, Northern Great Lakes Synod Congregation
P.O. Box 360 ~ 1150 West M-28 ~ Munising, MI 49862 ~ 1-906-387-2520 ~ contact@edenonthebay.org

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