Thigh will be done….

11 01 2011

DAY ELEVEN : Genesis 24 v. 1 – 67; Matthew 9 v. 14 – 38; Psalm 8

Isaac and Rebekah :
“Put your hand under my thigh…swear by the Lord…that you will go to my country and get a wife for my son Isaac from my own relatives…”, Abraham’s deal with his servant, sealed with a hand/thigh moment!
This intricate story, full of God-incidence, leads to the conclusion that Rebekah is God’s chosen one for Isaac. Abraham’s servant, a faithful God-follower, it seems, offers the situation to God :
“O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham……by this (plan of action, involving a drink of water for the servant and for the camels) I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
I thought that was a great prayer for each day,

“O Lord, give me success today and show kindness to your servant….” AMEN.

As the plan unfolds, Abraham’s servant, “bowed down and worshipped the Lord, saying, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham….”. God’s hand in all this is acknowledged at every step.
When Laban. Rebekah’s brother, hears the whole tale, he immediately proclaims, “This is from the Lord…”. The story has the whole ring of truth about it.
An ‘arranged’ marriage like this can seem strange to us, maybe, though many of us may reflect upon the God-incidences which enabled the initial meetings with our prospective spouse. Was ‘Someone’ working behind the scenes there too ?

There’s a time for feasting and a time for fasting. Jesus states that while he is around, there’ll be plenty of feasting. The time for fasting will come, though.

New wine in new wineskins. Lord, grant us wisdom to know how and when to create the new wineskins for the new wine. Give us, also, the courage to cease trying to ‘mend’ the old with the new – it only creates more mess. Help me to understand how that relates to our experiences today. As we seek to do ‘new things’ in our church / life for you, please pour in the new wine…..

Jesus heals a girl who’s died, with a touch from His hand (the crowd outside laughing at first at the audacity of Jesus to suggest she’s only sleeping…..’who’s laughing now’ (to quote yesterday’s post)).
A woman also receives her healing because she touches Jesus’s garment hem.
Sometimes, it is not important who touches who, but simply that heaven touches earth, God’s grace meets our need.
Draw near to God, and He’ll draw near to you.

Jesus enables people to see (heals the blind) and to speak (heals the mute). His question to the blind men seems significant, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord”, comes their reply. Jesus responds to their faith. Again the faith of others is ‘rewarded’ as they bring the mute man to Jesus. He casts out the demon which is preventing speech.
Two forms of ‘news’ about these incidents are spread
(i) despite Jesus’s request not to tell anyone, people are too excited by it all to keep it to themselves (and, besides, it is all too obvious that something amazing has happened for the individuals who have been healed) – excitedly letting the world know what Jesus has done
(ii) through jealousy, and a twisting of the truth, the religious leaders spread rumours that Jesus is in league with the prince of demons, his work is demonic, and not to be trusted

Mmm – what different responses to the “Light that shines in the darkness”. 
It appears that, though the demon has been cast from the mute man, and his tongue is now freed to proclaim truth of Jesus, there are others whose words reveal the darkness still at work in them.  
Hence Jesus’s call to pray for ‘workers for the harvest field’, as more help is needed to bring in the lost, the ‘harassed and helpless’. Jesus, here is the compassionate shepherd-figure, teaching, preaching and healing every sickness, and there’s a call to increase in number for effective mission to all.

PSALM 8 : has always been a favourite of mine.
As the psalmist looks heavenward, at the expanse of the sky, he is caught in the enormity of it all, and feels very, very small, and insignificant.
Yet, the real awe-filled moment, comes in realising that human beings, that you and I, are created ‘a little lower that the heavenly beings (angels, archangels etc…), and crowned with glory and honour’, with specific tasks of stewarding creation, and telling the majesty of God.

“O Lord, give me success today and show kindness to your servant….” AMEN.