• Steven Marsh

One is More Difficult: a Reflection on Psalm 50, Isaiah 41:17-29, Ephesians 2:11-22, and Mark 2:1-12

Yet another terrorist plot. This time it was in Belgium. Thankfully, the attack was foiled. It is difficult to embrace the anger, fear, self-righteousness, disenfranchisement, and ideology that drive such evil behavior.

However, human is innately evil. We are born with the pre-disposed character flaws of selfishness, pride, and any number, if not all, of the vices.

Jesus told his critics, which is easier to do? Forgive the paralytic’s sins or to tell him to pick up his mat and walk?

Each day, God speaks life into existence. The psalmist reminds us that each day, God speaks and summons creation. I am in awe. I don’t like being a creation at times, but the alternative, well should I say, is often not in my best interest. The outcomes of behaving like the creator usually are harmful, arrogant, self-serving, and short-sighted.

The poor and needy are always in our midst. And we who see ourselves not as or even like those folks in any shape or form, question the motives of such “poor and needy.” That truly is not my prerogative. God’s preferential option is for the poor, marginalized, and oppressed. Their needs are to be met. God holds us accountable. It is most likely not the best thing simply to give a financial handout, but why not refer “the needy” to a social service program that can truly engage “the needy” in their recovery? Yes, “the needy” has to want recovery. And so do we.

It is so easy to help, tangibly. And we should. Forgiveness is so much more difficult. Our ability to forgive has already been accomplished by Jesus. He has forgiven us and we are to forgive others. The consequences of withholding forgiveness are devastating.

Jesus is our peace. Jesus is our unity. Hold on to him. Remember what live was like before you trusted Jesus. Remember what it is like when we don’t trust in Jesus. Trust Jesus anew today.

Scripture readings are taken from the two-year daily lectionary cycle which follows the liturgical calendar and begins on the First Sunday of Advent.

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