Witnessing history unfold
Mark 6: 30-34, 53-56 (GNT)
30 The apostles returned and met with Jesus, and told him all they had done and taught. 31 There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his disciples didn't even have time to eat. So he said to them, “Let us go off by ourselves to some place where we will be alone and you can rest a while.” 32 So they started out in a boat by themselves to a lonely place.
33 Many people, however, saw them leave and knew at once who they were; so they went from all the towns and ran ahead by land and arrived at the place ahead of Jesus and his disciples. 34 When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw this large crowd, and his heart was filled with pity for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began to teach them many things.
53 They crossed the lake and came to land at Gennesaret, where they tied up the boat. 54 As they left the boat, people recognized Jesus at once. 55 So they ran throughout the whole region; and wherever they heard he was, they brought to him the sick lying on their mats. 56 And everywhere Jesus went, to villages, towns, or farms, people would take their sick to the marketplaces and beg him to let the sick at least touch the edge of his cloak. And all who touched it were made well.
“You’ve got to be there, haven’t you?” (Quote from football fan, regardless of pandemic.)
Something important is going to happen, and you mustn’t miss it. Even if you don’t know how it‘s going to turn out.
The crowds who followed and gathered round Jesus certainly didn’t know quite what was going to happen. Jesus was like that – you just never knew what he would do next. But it was bound to be interesting, surprising, shocking even, and you didn’t want to miss it. So you worked out where he would be, and you ran to get there before him, to be there, waiting for him, in the place he had intended for a quiet retreat.
And then, when he moved on, a new crowd gathered — sick people, anxious people, people with sick and anxious friends, people who had run out of treatments, people whose ailments were not understood, people who were shunned because of the stigma of their illness, people who had all but given up hope.
And they were healed.
You really didn’t want to miss it.
God of eternity,
God of time and space,
God of the moment,
God of our present trouble,
God of healing and consolation,
we praise and thank you that you came to us,
that you include us,
embrace us, love us,
whoever we are,
in our particular time and place.