Scripture Reading: Mark 1:29-39
As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. 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. –Mark 1:29-34
One thing about Mark, he begins his gospel with Christ’s ministry. Mark is believed to be the oldest gospel, perhaps getting just the facts down at the start was the most important reason for writing it. We must take him seriously when he describes Jesus’ care for the sick. The gospels all illustrate this healing nature of Jesus’ ministry. He obviously felt that health care was a right, not a privilege.
We apparently do not believe that in this country although every other industrialized country does. We don’t want to assure the availability of health care even when it is in our best interest. People without routine health care end up in emergency rooms very sick where their care is much more expensive than early intervention or prevention care. Insurance costs are derived from the costs of providing care, so we eventually pay for the higher costs of emergency care in increased premiums. The alternative of turning the sick out into the streets to fend for themselves creates public health risks about which we do not even want to think.
What does it mean to follow Jesus? One of my favorites of Jesus’ sayings is Matthew 11:28-30:
‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
We make life complicated by trying to figure out the best angle for our wellbeing. When we love others as we love ourselves, life becomes easier for all.
Prayer: Lord, heal our souls as well as our bodies and our minds. Makes us whole make us one. Amen.