After leaving the synagogue, Jesus, James, and John went home with Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed, sick with a fever, and they told Jesus about her at once. He went to her, took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she served them.
When I was a little girl, my mother used to say “would you mind setting the table”? I can remember thinking, well yes, I DO mind! But I would not say anything and would set the table for dinner. It did not occur to me that Mom had cooked our dinner and was busily cleaning up pots and pans while she was asking me to do this simple chore. I did not have regular chores, just whatever my mother told me to do. Usually, I did do it but I was not happy about it.
Later, as I was growing up, I observed my mother as she went about being a good person, a good friend, a good church member, and so on. She was rarely asked to do anything. She just saw the need and, if she could, she would respond. At her funeral, the pastor joked that sometimes people did not know they were sick until Rose McAllister came by with a loaf of banana bread!
Probably the strongest value my parents taught me was the value of being thoughtful- of being observant and helping out without having to be asked. It made me feel good when I did that, and my mom’s highest compliment was to say that I had been thoughtful. I’m still working on it.
In Mark 1:29-39, Jesus and his first disciples go to Simon and Andrew’s house with John and James. As they get there, Jesus learns that Simon’s mother-in-law is sick with a “Great Fever”. This was very serious, and it was likely that she would die. Jesus went to her bedside, healed her, and helped her get out of bed. She was completely healed and immediately started to serve the disciples and Jesus. Can you imagine how she must have felt? She probably knew that she was going to die and she felt terrible. Now, with just a touch, Jesus gave her her life back. I think she was full of joy and thanksgiving! She knew who Jesus was before, but now she KNEW who he was! Jesus didn’t demand that she get up and serve them. She did it with joy!
There is much to do to help heal our world, many ways to serve and make things better.
Dear God, forgive us when we are self-centered and blind to the needs around us. Open our eyes and hearts that we may see what we can do to help our friends, our families, our church, our community, and our world—all parts of your creation. Fill us with your love as we seek to be the people you created us to be. Amen.