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June Note

From Donna Kelly

Recently I was reading the story of the call of Matthew in the gospel of Mark along with a commentary on it. The commentary didn’t focus primarily on Mathew’s call but on the events following it where Jesus and his disciples had dinner with Matthew and his friends at Matthew’s house. Evidently, the “Social Media” of that day was to walk around town and check out who was eating with whom and chat about the company they kept. The buzz was that Jesus and his friends weren’t very particular about their dining partners! In today’s world this would be texted, tweeted, shared and posted all over the internet within minutes.

When Jesus is questioned about eating with “sinners and tax collectors” he replies that it is the sick who need physician and he came to call the sick. The commentary then went on to talk about how Jesus came to call the tax collector, the self-aware sinner, and the scribe, the self-presumed saint, and how on any given Sunday it is difficult if not impossible to tell who the in the worship space is “sick” and who is “healthy”. The author also wondered if we come to the table aware of our own sickness and need.

When we break bread and drink the cup, Jesus is dining at our house; and so are the “sinners and tax collectors” and the “the crowds, the disciples, the scribes and the Pharisees.” Included are the leader who is certain he/she is absolutely right about continuing to do things the way it has always been done, or was done at their old church, the one who struggles to stay on their meds to quiet the voices in their head, the one who “fell off the wagon” again and fights to get back on it, the parent with the noisy little ones, the bored middle schooler who would rather be anywhere else, the older person who sees their health deteriorating and the rest of us, each with our own sicknesses, are dining with Jesus today ready to receive the healing he has to offer. The crust of bread and the drop of wine are meant for all of us. But not just for our own sakes, but for the sake of others.

Jesus is often called, “The Great Physician.” While on earth he healed many people of various diseases and conditions. If Jesus is the great physician, then we are called to be “physician assistants.” Wikipedia defines Physician Assistants as “a healthcare professional who practices medicine as a part of a healthcare team with collaborating physicians and other providers. PAs are concerned with preventing and treating human illness and injury by providing a plethora of health care services under a supervising physician.” To me that sounds a lot like our call from Jesus, to care for his creation!

We don’t need to be medical professionals to care for others. All we need is a listening ear and heart. We may not be able to prescribe medication or run medical tests; but we can hold a hand, listen to another, serve a meal, send a card, make a quilt, sing a song, teach a child, pray with and for someone, share the gospel, play a game and unlimited other ways to show that Jesus and we care! Isn’t that what being a disciple really is, following our leader and caring for his people and his world?

Come and be a physician assistant to the Great Physician, be part of his healthcare team to bring his love and healing to the world.

Donna Kelly

Email Donna:  donna@sotpmail.com

CONTACT SHEPHERD OF THE PRAIRIE LUTHERAN CHURCH