Of those of you who are married, how many remember the sermon that was preached at your wedding? (I guess I might ask how many of you remember being married.)! Recently I was speaking with a gentleman, married many years, who said he remembered the minister's sermon at his wedding. In the midst of all that would be going on, leading up to, during and following that ceremony, the wedding sermon was still in his mind.
When you leave Walmart the check out clerk will often ask, “Did you find everything okay?”, I feel sure they are trained to ask that question. A question that made me shake in my boots was my sixth grade teacher asking, “Freddie, do you have homework to turn in today?” Another significant question I dread hearing is my doctor at my annual check up when he asks, “What is it with you and food?”
I love this gospel story especially for the way that it presents Jesus. Jesus treats this handicapped person with care. He takes the man away from the crowd protecting his privacy. The man’s healing is not meant to be a public spectacle. Jesus uses a “hands on” style, which someone has called “sacramental”, instead of just saying the word, Jesus is not afraid to touch, as he did with the leper, putting his finger into the man’s ear and touching his tongue with spittle. Jesus is not afraid to express emotions- “he sighed” and Jesus even uses a Greek word, ephaptha, for he is in Greek territory (Decapolis). The Messiah doing messianic things in a scene that is intimate and personal.
We make decisions – important ones, life changing ones, lesser ones. Joshua is asking people to choose a God who was unseen, except by his deeds, for whom they could not make any graven image, whose values included respect for the weakest and lowliest among them, to whom temple prostitution was a violation of their covenant. The decision: Chose this God as opposed to worshipping anything you could get your hands on, living like might makes right, and finding any pagan god that blessed your basest instincts, believe me in the land Canaan there were many.
One of the distinctive things about a kitchen is the aroma of something good cooking- fresh baked bread, a grilled steak, peach cobbler. Our sense of smell is perhaps the strongest sense that we have; it can even bring back memories of long ago when our momma was baking in the kitchen, bringing back a sense of comfort and security when we were children.