In recent years, Broadway’s hit musical Hamilton has encouraged us to put ourselves in the narrative of history and find that place in a story where we connect most fully. Today’s text calls us to find our place inside the narrative of Jesus’ earliest ministry. I suspect we relate most to the crowd of people who are waiting for Jesus to finally come down from the mountain and begin his work of healing. We’ve been through a difficult year as our world has stared down a pandemic and our country continues its ongoing struggle with our original sin of racism. When we combine these communal struggles with our individual ones, our desire to know Jesus’ touch is palpable. We want more than anything for Jesus to reach in with what Eugene Peterson describes as a “surging energy” and heal our brokenness.
On our more confident days, we might picture ourselves as the disciples in this story. Freshly called and equipped to serve, we are eager to be faithful to Christ by serving the world on his behalf. Disciples are part of a greater call that doesn’t depend solely on us. We are simply helpers, extending Jesus’ ministry to the world.
What would it mean for us to recognize that Jesus calls us to live out his ministry of healing the world that he demonstrates in this story? Now more than ever we must discipline ourselves to pray, to discern the world’s needs, to surround ourselves with faith community, then go and give ourselves fully to the healing of the world. Our world needs people and churches who are willing to offer the “surging energy” God places within us to change the narrative of history.
What gift of God’s extravagant grace could you offer to someone today?
God, most often we see ourselves as those with a deep desire to receive your grace. Deepen our desire to do the devoted work of offering that same healing grace to the world. Amen.