Apparently little Elfie got a bit hungry last night! We found him this morning in our cookie barn and he had made quite a mess! Ian says I should spank his bottom. 🙂 Johnathan was excited to eat Elfie’s crumbs but soon discovered they were there because they were a trial batch of mom’s gluten-free cookies that didn’t turn out so well. Haha, sorry to disappoint Johnathan. Our scripture today came from Mark chapter 2:
2 A few days later, Jesus entered Capernaum again. The people heard that he had come home. 2 So many people gathered that there was no room left. There was not even room outside the door. And Jesus preached the word to them. 3 Four of those who came were carrying a man who could not walk. 4 But they could not get him close to Jesus because of the crowd. So they made a hole by digging through the roof above Jesus. Then they lowered the man through it on a mat. 5 Jesus saw their faith. So he said to the man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6 Some teachers of the law were sitting there. They were thinking, 7 “Why is this fellow talking like that? He’s saying a very evil thing! Only God can forgive sins!”
8 Right away Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Is it easier to say to this man, ‘Your sins are forgiven’? Or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So Jesus spoke to the man who could not walk. 11 “I tell you,” he said, “get up. Take your mat and go home.” 12 The man got up and took his mat. Then he walked away while everyone watched. All the people were amazed. They praised God and said, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Of course our craft went along with the story as we painted the little man and made a stretcher for him. Johnathan was familiar with this story, but Ian was hearing it for the first time and could not believe that they made a hole in the roof! We imagined how crowded the house must have been that the only way they could get to Jesus was through the roof. I asked the boys if they were surprised that Jesus healed the man and made him able to walk again? “Nope” they said with a matter-of-fact look. “He’s Jesus, He can do whatever He wants to do.” So obviously by this day 14 they are beginning to understand Jesus a little bit right? We talked about how time after time in the Bible we read stories about how people did not believe Jesus was who He said He was. They doubted Him until He performed some type of miracle and then they were always so amazed. Johnathan put his hands on his hips and tilted his head sideways, “Why do they do that? Don’t they know who He is?” I love his spirit! It is easy to read the stories and ask those questions today because we have the Bible to read and know God’s Word. Back then the people didn’t have the Bible. They had never heard of Jesus before so if we pretend to be them we would probably be very skeptical too! In fact, I think even today when a miracle happens or when God answers someone’s prayer we are often so surprised! Should we be surprised when God does what He says He will do? When we pray are we praying expecting God to actually answer our prayers?
This man must have had some pretty awesome friends! They went to some pretty extreme measure to get their friend in front of Jesus because they knew and trusted that Jesus would answer their prayers. They went to that house expectant. I wasn’t there, but I bet those friends were not surprised at all that their friend got up and walked out. I bet the just smiled and rejoiced with him. We talked about whether we would do something like that for our friends if they needed it. Would we go out of our way to help a friend like that? What if that man didn’t have those friends? Would he have ever walked again? The role of our Christian friends and family is such an important part of life. We are meant to live in community so that we can share each others burdens. So that when one of us is down or hurt, the others will carry us to the feet of Jesus no matter the obstacle.
Father, I pray that my boys will grow to be friends like this man had. I pray that they will be stretcher carriers for others and that when hard times come they will know to find you first. I pray that I would be the same. May we seek you and pray expecting you to do what you say you will do. And may we never lose the awe of Your greatness!
After our lesson we went with some other friends to visit an assisted living home near us and sing some Christmas carols. This is the first time our boys had ever been in a nursing home type environment so I wasn’t sure how they would respond. After all they are boys! Thankfully they did really well. Johnathan worked a puzzle with one of the ladies and I think was such a blessing to her. Him and Ian joined in the singing with their friends and then handed out candy canes to the residents. Jacob………he did not want to be there. Just being honest. I wrestled with him the entire time and I believe that he interrupted the singing with screams at least half a dozen times. But hey, that’s life right? I don’t think the boys realized the blessing that there sweet voices and actions were to the women there but you could see on those wise faces smiles of joy. Last night we watched the movie Elf, so the boys favorite quote for the day was “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” 🙂