Bringing People to Jesus – Br. David Vryhof

Br. David Vryhof

Matthew 9:1-8

This is a story illustrating Jesus’ healing power.  With a simple command – “Stand up.  Take your bed and go home.” – he heals a paralyzed man.

It is also a story about the authority with which he forgave sins:  he says to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

 And, as with many healing stories in the gospel, it is a story that provokes a dual response:  There is both a positive reaction – When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings” – and a negative reaction – “Some of the scribes said to themselves, ‘This man is blaspheming.’”

But my attention is drawn this morning to something else, a short phrase tucked away in the text.  It has to do with the friends who carried the paralyzed man to Jesus.  The phrase is this: When Jesus saw their faith…” Read More

Here I am – Br. Keith Nelson

Br. Keith NelsonGenesis 22:1-14
Matthew 9:1-8

“Here I am.” Hineini in Hebrew. A phrase used three times by Abraham in this relatively short passage. A phrase that acts in the Torah as a narrative pivot, a turning point, as the one who utters it responds to God – or another person − in readiness, vulnerability, and expectation. “Here I am” – as if to say:  I am present with my whole heart to the need or command before me. I do not know what it will demand of me, nor do I know how it may change me. I am present to this encounter. I am present to this challenge. I am present to this possibility. 

Abraham responds, “Here I am” to the God who calls him by name. He replies, “Here I am” to his son Isaac, who asks innocently “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” And he utters, “Here I am” to the Angel of the Lord, who intervenes at the final moment, revealing God’s true intention. Read More