The hidden way of God is the way of becoming whole. How do we reconcile a biblical witness of God’s own self being revealed with the Son of God working to keep things quiet? This tension of concealment and revelation shows up in the very first chapter of Mark’s Gospel. (See Mark 1:24-26.)
In today’s passage, Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law, who immediately returns to her kitchen chores. So many people follow Jesus that he stops at sundown, not to pray but to expel demons (whom he forces to keep quiet) and to make whole the demon-possessed. He silences those who might speak something it is not yet time for. The next day, with morning prayer interrupted, Jesus proclaims the nearness of the kingdom of God and teaches about the wholeness this reign brings.
We read of a seeing and a knowing. Many gather and witness the healings. Jesus silences some because of what they know of him. His teaching and healing activity cultivates curiosity in the people watching and in the readers of the story. When we refocus to see this tension, we also can see a pattern of the life lived in private and the life lived in public view. Does one pattern offer a clue to the other?
Does the need for concealment somehow relate to what cannot be seen until eyes are opened? Might the curiosity and spectacle block the true seeing of the majesty and wonder of a God who can imagine wholeness coming in human form at the hands of a human being who didn’t arrive as expected but rather came in vulnerability and in poverty?

God of light, shape in us the patience to see clearly, to allow our curiosity to become imagination, so that we may welcome the wholeness in ourselves and in others. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Mark 1:29-39

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Lectionary Week
January 29 – February 4, 2018
Scripture Overview

What is the ultimate source of our strength? All the authors for this week come to the same conclusion: True strength comes from the Lord. Isaiah asks his audience: Who is like God? God never grows weary and provides unfailing strength to those who wait for God. The psalmist praises God as the one who lifts up those who are beaten down. It is not those with human strength who are truly mighty but those empowered by God. In Corinthians, Paul states that he has laid down any form of his own strength so that the gospel may advance. Jesus heals many in Mark as a demonstration of his power over the physical world. Thus, God’s power is not just a metaphor but a reality.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Isaiah 40:21-31. When has your focus on past events or ones yet to come caused an inability to perceive God’s work in the present?
• Read Psalm 147:1-11, 20c. What part of your life bears witness to humanity’s desire for winners and losers? How can you help others see God’s desire for wholeness?
• Read 1 Corinthians 9:16-23. What behaviors are you willing to take on or give up “for the sake of the gospel”?
• Read Mark 1:29-39. What intrigues you about the pattern of concealment and revelation in Jesus’ life that Mark’s Gospel portrays?

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