From Mark 2:1-12 “When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them,
not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him, ‘Child, your sins are forgiven.’”
As we enter into the long weekend, I am particularly mindful of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s contribution to the civil rights movement that helped our nation to move a step closer to the Kingdom of God as envisioned by Jesus–a place of justice and equality among God’s children. There are too many today that have forgotten the Reverend’s work to make their lives better, their freedom’s stronger, and their opportunities greater. Dr. King was to many in America today what the four friends of the paralytic were to him in today’s Gospel.
The Gospel teaches that Jesus’ house was filled with those who wanted to hear him. So much so, in fact, that there was no way to come in through the door. The friends refused to be shut out. They lifted the roof and lowered the man in through it! You can just imagine the scene with dirt and sod falling down upon those already privileged enough to be inside and close to Jesus. They were no doubt sorry for the disruption, but their love for their friend and their faith in Jesus’ ability to help moved them to action.
We don’t know anything about the four friends’ personal prayer lives, their public standing, the sinful of their lives in general. The only thing we know is that their faith was strong–strong enough to have their friend forgiven and healed. God’s world is sadly, filled with sinners, but what matters most to God is not our past sins, but our faith and our willingness to stop at nothing to make our way to the Healer–and to bring others with us.
Martin Luther King Jr. was not without sin, fault, and wrongdoing. Many critics are quick to point out these faults. These sad attempts to disparage his character miss the most important fact that Dr. King’s faith in Jesus Christ and his willingness to stop at nothing on behalf of those who were experiencing injustice is the work of Christ himself and an example to the rest of us. And most importantly of all, this weekend is a reminder that God’s healing work is done not though those without sin, but those who sinfully and sorrowfully continue to say “Yes!” to God and participate in manifesting the Kingdom of God. Enjoy your Monday off!