Mark 1:29-39 1:29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 1:30 Now Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 1:31 He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them. 1:32 That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 1:33 And the whole city was gathered around the door. 1:34 And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. 1:35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 1:36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 1:37 When they found him, they said to him, "Everyone is searching for you." 1:38 He answered, "Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do." 1:39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Moral of the Story
You have the ability to step out and heal someone with your connection and your touch.
Inquiry and Reflection
This week's sermon brings us to somewhat of an uncomfortable subject: Loneliness. What happens when there is a lack of human connection? And what can we do about it? And then, of course, what are we willing to do about it?
Interesting new research on the science of loneliness explores how isolation actually impacts our genes. Can loneliness actually interfere with our ability to fend off disease? In The Lethality of Lonliness, the author explains how recent findings indicate that feeling lonely stems from both hereditary and social circumstances. But what's truly fascinating about this new field of research is how amping up your connectedness with others can actually change what's going on inside you.
Below are some questions to ask yourself and ask each other:
- How lonely are you? Take this quiz based on the UCLA Loneliness Scale to find out. Then, you might consider who in your life - friend, family or stranger - might be experiencing loneliness.
- Remember, in the sermon when Amos mentioned there was only a period and a space between the time when Jesus found out about about Simon's mother-in-law's fever and when he took her hand? Are you hesitating to reach out to someone who you suspect is in need of a connection, a touch, or a hand? If so, why?
- Or maybe the situation is flipped, and you're the one who is in need. Are you willing to reach out or are you hiding behind "everything's fine" and missing out on the connection that could heal you?
These are the songs that didn’t make it to the stage this week, but may inspire you in your reflection: Love Train, Lean on Me, Stand By Me, and Peace Train. All songs about love beyond the boundaries of race or class. They are songs about community and friendship giving us the strength to live our lives even in the midst of hard circumstances.
An All-Ages Show
These bite-size questions are designed specifically for the younger crowd. Parents, give these a whirl at the dinner table:
- Who is someone you see at school or in your community who could be helped by an acknowledgement or a touch or a hug?
- How can you ask for a hug when you need one?