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Monday, Second Week of Advent

December 5, 2011

Blessed Monday!

May our prayer of petition
rise before you, we pray, O Lord,
that, with purity unblemished,
we, your servants, may come, as we desire,
to celebrate the great mystery
of the Incarnation of your Only Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Isaiah 35:1-10 (God will make even the wilderness safe and beautiful for our journey to Him)
Psalm 85:9-14 “Our God will come to save us!”
+ Luke 5:17-26 (Jesus forgives & heals the paralytic who was lowered through the roof)

God wants great things for us…

…and we don’t have to be good enough!

As much as we want to be worthy, we’re limited.

“It’s no use. I’m paralyzed by this sin. I just can’t break free.”

It’s true. You can’t.

But God can…and He wants to!

Fully aware of our paralysis, our weariness, our fear, He says:

My friend, your sins are forgiven you…
rise, pick up your bed, and go home
-Luke 5:20, 24

He does the hard part.
He forgives our sin, giving us the power to get up and go on.
All He asks is our receptivity, our cooperation.

The paralytic could’ve just kept lying there,
letting the new energy coursing through his veins go to waste
out of a fear of looking foolish (what if he still can’t get up after all?)
or out of a misguided sense of his own unworthiness.

He could’ve disregarded the invitation to

strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak…
be strong, fear not!
-Isaiah 35:3, 4

…but he didn’t.

He stood up immediately before them,
picked up his bed,
and went home, glorifying God.
-Luke 5:25

In him was fulfilled the prophesy,

Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
they shall meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning will flee
-Isaiah 35:10

And not only was he blessed, but the entire crowd glorified God,
struck with astonishment

We have seen incredible things this day
-Luke 5:26

When we receive God’s gifts and cooperate with them, we win.
When we bring our paralysis,
our weariness and weakness and fear
to Him in Confession
with a firm purpose of amendment
He saves us.
Kindness and truth meet.
Justice and peace kiss.
Our deserts burst into bloom.

And we’re not the only ones who benefit.
Yes, it may take a little longer than it did for the paralytic,
but people will begin to notice…and to glorify God for the change in us.

Do yourself a good turn, good people.
Let God have His way in you.

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