Daily Reflection
March 27th, 2001
Steve Kline
Public Relations
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Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12
Psalms 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
John 5:1-3, 5-16

"Rise, take up your mat, and walk."

John 5:8

Nothing like a nice tough challenge for Lent.

The guy has been 38 years on his back.  Jesus asks, "Do you want to be well?"  Instead of a "yes" or "no," the guy has an excuse:  No one will help me.

Jesus does not even acknowledge the excuse.  Instead, he offers an abrupt challenge:

"Rise, take up your mat, and walk."

Does Jesus have a little bit of an edge here?  This doesn't even amount to a cure.  Jesus just tells the guy to stop messing around, stop looking for excuses, start walking.  What happens?  The guy's off for a stroll, his first in 38 years, because Jesus said do it.

"Do you WANT to be well?"

If Jesus knows where my heart is, where my desire is, then He will know my capabilities.  He must grow weary of excuses.

"Do you want to be closer to Jesus?  Do you want time with Him?"

I am so busy . . .

"Do you want to care about others?"

I have to take care of myself . . .

"Do you want to feed and clothe the poor, defend the widow, protect the child?"

I'm only one person, and I have this job and my family . . .

There is no end to my list of reasons why I cannot get off my back and start walking the Gospel talk right this very minute.  And, Jesus knows, there is no good reason why I cannot start walking, right now.

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