February 20, 2021

Love and Hope in Action

February 20, 2021

By Caleigh McGilchrist, Digital Content Coordinator


Matthew 9:2-13

During this past year, I have started to see God in a new light. I’ve wrestled with beliefs and different passages in the Bible for the first time. I’ve questioned different aspects of my faith. It’s been scary at times, but I think it’s necessary if we want to strengthen our faith and claim it as our own. I’ve found myself asking “why” quite a bit. I have a feeling that maybe it is God asking me to have a bigger imagination and reminding me that he doesn’t fit into the box that I often expect him to fit into. 

I’ve heard the story of Jesus healing the paralyzed man many times growing up. But one thing I appreciate about reading scripture is that God can teach you something new each time you read it or reveal a different part of his character through it. 

God has spent some time this past year re-teaching me what Love and Hope look like—outside of the ways I thought about them in the past. Before this past year, I thought I had a pretty good idea of how both of those played out, but now, I am seeing that without action Love and Hope aren’t much more than feelings, and I think the Love and Hope referred to in the Bible are much more than feelings. The Hope that the paralyzed man had in Jesus’ ability to heal him was tangible. It was so real to the point that he was willing to get to Jesus through a stranger’s roof. The Love that his friends had for him was so real that they were willing to climb a stranger’s roof and lower their friend in just for a chance of him getting healed. This part of the story has always been fairly easy for me to understand. But the next part when some of the Pharisees are thinking that Jesus is blaspheming, I didn’t understand the significance of to the extent that I do now. Jesus does this incredible miracle—he heals a paralyzed man. And yet, here are these leaders of the law and these folks who are supposed to be religious figures in their communities criticizing Jesus for how he heals this man. They miss the whole miracle. They miss the Love and tangible Hope in the room. It’s easy to be critical of how someone acts or does something if it’s not the way we are accustomed to. It’s easy to feel like we have the right to judge them. Sure, we have the choice to do this, but when we do, I think we completely miss what God is doing. And we miss Love and Hope in action, which is what Jesus was embodying in this story. 

I pray that we can all learn to be Love and Hope in action during this season of Lent and recognize our need for Christ; that we could be less critical and less judgmental of one another and instead, be full of more grace, understanding, Love, and Hope.