In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
We are watching the weather and at this time the Car Show is still on as scheduled for the public, open from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will keep you updated as conditions change.
31 He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbath. 32 They were astounded at his teaching because he spoke with authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Leave us alone! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” Then the demon, throwing the man down before them, came out of him without doing him any harm. 36 They were all astounded and kept saying to one another, “What kind of word is this, that with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits and they come out?” 37 And news about him began to reach every place in the region.
38 After leaving the synagogue he entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked him about her. 39 Then he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them.
40 As the sun was setting, all those caring for any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them. 41 Moreover, demons also came out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Messiah.
In Jesus’ day, most of today’s medical and psychological insights didn’t exist. Nearly all puzzling ills were called “demon possession” (today we call the symptoms a father reported in Matthew 17:14-18 “epilepsy” *). On the other hand, we know of no reason why epilepsy or mental illness would lead patients to accurately identify Jesus as “the Holy One of God.” Disease or demons, the central reality is the same. Then, and now, humans regularly need physical, emotional and spiritual healing.
Lord Jesus, you did not stay comfortable and safe while destructive forces were loose in the world you created. Give me the caring and courage to enlist as one of your servants in working with you to heal those who hurt for any reason. Amen.
When I was a new mother, I held my baby boy in my arms each night and rocked him to sleep. While I did, I would scroll social media. There was one topic that seemed to repeatedly come my way–family tragedy. My husband called them the “sad baby stories.” One after another they came–a child diagnosed en utero with trisomy 13, an unexplained congenital heart failure in a one year old, a rare cancer that had no cure days before kindergarten. I would deep dive into all of the details about spinal muscle atrophy and secondary drowning and the many ways this precious, precious baby could be lost to me. And I feared. And I cried for those mothers and their children. I clutched my baby close to my chest and tried to will God to keep him safe.
When someone is sick or mentally unwell, we can’t help but be curious about the details. I think we, somewhat naively, assume that if we can just learn enough about something bad, we can avoid it happening to us. If I could just learn about everything bad that might happen to my son, I couldn’t be blindsided. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop non-smokers from developing lung cancer. It doesn’t stop perfectly healthy couples from having a child with a seizure disorder. Despite near constant news, the latest research, and facts being thrown at us day and night for 3+ years, almost 7 million people have died from covid-19.
In today’s passage, the people were shook. They had never witnessed anything like what Jesus was doing. Verse 37 tells us that reports about him spread throughout the entire region. Capernaum was a village of about 1000 people, and I bet every single one of them had Jesus’ name on their lips in those days–pandemic level coverage!
What would the world look like if we shared the stories of healing? If we spread the details of the good news that, as Christians, is already in our hearts? If instead of fear scrolling, we practiced sharing out loud the ways God has been faithful, even and especially in hardship? What if the reports that spread throughout our region said that miracles (not only physical, but emotionally and spiritually transforming) are happening out of our very own communities? When we do this, we can help battle demons of our own and we invite others to find healing from their demons, too.
* “The [Greek] word rendered epileptic means literally ‘moonstruck’…. ‘Epileptic’ is the preference of [many modern translations]. ‘Epileptic’ may be more accurate as far as modern medical terminology is concerned, yet it does not convey the emotional impact as well as ‘lunatic.’ It may be best to translate: ‘He sometimes goes out of his mind.’” –comment on Matthew 17:15 in Barclay M. Newman and Philip C. Stine, A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew. New York: United Bible Societies, 1988, p. 546.
** Wright, N. T., Luke for Everyone (New Testament for Everyone) (p. 51-52). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.