March is like a messy patchwork of images. March marks the beginning of spring. This year, March marks the one-year anniversary for most of the pandemic responses and restrictions in the U.S. March, of course, contains the commemoration day for Saint Patrick. Also, March is deep into the Lenten season.
In adult Bible study, we’ve been reading, discussing, and reflecting on the book, “The Walk” by Adam Hamilton. It walks the readers through five spiritual disciplines (worship, prayer, study, serve, and share). Hamilton writes, “I wrote this book to be a simple guide for the Christian life written for ordinary people whose faith is sometimes messy” (page 8).
Faith is sometimes very messy. As we deepen our faith this lent and as we reflect on the teachings, Passion, and salvation through Christ Jesus, I invite you to consider (study, pray about, imagine) the scripture you encounter. For example, below are three healings of Jesus. Imagine for a moment that you are there too, witnessing these miracles. Use your imagination and your senses. Notice the patchwork of images, sounds, sensations, and smells.
Jesus heals Bartimaeus (who was blind) as Jesus is leaving Jericho (Mark 10:46-52).
Bartimaeus cries out loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” He is credited as having faith.
- Loudly? How loud do you suppose he was?
- Why would he throw off his cloak to meet Jesus? Does that make noise when he does that? Does it kick up any dust?
Jesus cleanses a leper (Mark 1:40-45). Jesus responds, “I do choose.”
In the Bible, leprosy means any kind of skin condition.
- How does skin feel when there is a rash or break out of some kind?
- How does skin look once a rash is healed? How does it now feel? Smell?
Jesus heals Simon Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-34). She is “lifted up” (raised up). She begins to serve them.
- What kind of serving do you imagine that she is doing? For example, is she preparing food or feeding them?
- What do you hear?
- What do you smell?
As we journey in this calendar month and in this season of lent, may the messy patchwork of it all invite the senses. And may you be “healthy as a trout” (1) – however that may look, feel, and smell.
Soli Deo Gloria,