Curate's Page - March 2015

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This Lent, I have set myself a challenge to spend more time reading the Bible and particularly rediscovering afresh Jesus and his ministry bring in the Kingdom of God. I'm doing this by reading and reflection upon just one chapter a day of Mark, and then afterwards I'll turn to Luke, the chapters of both add up to 40 = 40 days of Lent, not including Sundays. 

The thing I have been struck by these past few days, reading and reflecting upon the well known stories, has been how Jesus interacts with the people he meets. Time and again the Scriptures tell us that 'Jesus saw', 'Jesus noticed', 'He kept looking'. In the first 6 chapters this happens at least 8 times. (Look them up for yourself in Mark 1:16,19; 2:5,14; 3:1; 5:32; 6:34,48.) Jesus wasn't just going around the countryside perfering miracles and teaching people, he was interacting with them on a deeply personal level. He saw, noticed and looked at the people, face to face. He met with people at a fundamentally human level; eye to eye, he truly sees their need. Jesus in seeing then reaches out, brings wholeness to them physically, heal their emotions, their spirit, meets their deepest desires and needs. Jesus saw the people; Jesus sees us. Jesus knows what we need because he sees our need. 

The two stories which really speak to me, firstly, is that of the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years (Mark 5:25-34) she pushes her way through the crowd, just to even touch Jesus' cloak, as she knew that would be enough to heal her physically, yet Jesus searched for her in the crowd, he kept looking, not to humiliate but to restore her, not just physically, but socially and emotionally as well. The second is the beginning of the story of the feeding of the Five Thousand (Mark 6:34-44). It tells us that although Jesus wanted to go and rest, but when he saw the crowd he had compassion on them. 

This challenges me; Do I go about the work which I believe God has brought me here to do, which such passion, selflessness and focus? Do I really 'see' people? I mean, not just see them, but really see them? Do I get involved? Do I interact with them compassion which brings about healing and wholeness. In a society where time always seems to be in short supply, I pray that we don't become people who just walk on by, because we don't want to stop, or haven't noticed that person who needs a kind word or an extra pair of hands. Perhaps if only we looked closer at them, if we really saw them, as Jesus sees them, it would bring them wholeness and help bring them back fully into society through simple acts of compassion and love. 

This Lent, I encourage you, as we walk towards Easter and the ultimate and great passion of our Lord, to join with me in slowing down, and see for yourselves the opportunities which are in front of us all every day to show compassion and love and be a 'little Christ' to others around us., just by seeing people. Thus bringing hope, wholeness and healing to our world one person at a time.

Rev'd Claire. 

This extract is taken from the March 2015 Cluster Magazine.
You can view the latest magazine here