Today’s Gospel reading makes a curious claim about Jesus. Luke says that “power came out from [Jesus] and healed all of them.” This is one of the most compelling claims about how Jesus showed up in the world—that tangible energy radiating from Jesus that brought healing to all who needed it simply by being in his presence.
Jesus embodies healing in his time and in ours. He so sought to conform his life to the values of his Father that he became a channel through which the Spirit of God could bring healing and redemption to the world.
All followers of Jesus are challenged to imitate Jesus’ behavior here. We’re called to be healers and ministers of reconciliation. (See 2 Corinthians 5:18.) We’re called to live our lives with eyes wide open to the pain and brokenness in our world, and we should work to extend healing and grace in every moment.
This is a high calling, but it’s also precisely what our world needs to see from disciples of Jesus. We are to step into the divisions and establish justice. We are to be willing to sacrifice our self-interest to ensure the well-being of others. We’re called to bear witness to the powerful love that Jesus embodied and to help the world see that these are the ways to abundant and joyful living. This is the high calling we choose when we decide to follow Jesus: to be a people whose very energy and presence bring healing and grace to broken places.
Through us, the Spirit of God can bring healing to our world—often to one person at a time. When we allow God to use our life of sacrificial love, we will be surprised at how God can use a surrendered heart.
God, make me a channel for healing and grace in the world today. Flow to me and through me to embody your love for those who need it the most. Amen.
God wants us to be rooted firmly in our faith. Jeremiah contrasts those who put their trust in themselves with those who trust in God. The latter are like healthy trees with deep roots and a constant water supply, never in danger of drying up or dying. The psalmist uses the same image to describe those who meditate on God’s teachings. Thus, as you do these daily readings and reflect on them, you are sinking deep roots into fertile soil. Agricultural imagery is continued in Paul’s letter. Paul describes Jesus Christ risen in the flesh as the first fruit, meaning that he is the first of many who will be resurrected. In Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, worldly success is not necessarily an indication of God’s blessing.
Read Jeremiah 17:5-10. Examine your heart. Do you place your trust in “mere mortals” or in the Lord?
Read Psalm 1. How do you seek to meditate on God’s Word day and night?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-20. How has your understanding of the resurrection of the dead changed your living?
Read Luke 6:17-26. How do you understand the paradoxes of Jesus’ blessings and woes?
Respond by posting a prayer.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.