October 6, 2023

Matthew 8:1-13 (NRSV)

When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him, and there was a man with a skin disease who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be made clean!” Immediately his skin disease was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me, and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 10 When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and will take their places at the banquet with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And the servant was healed in that hour.”


God of the helpers, as we read stories of how Jesus offered healing and hope to his neighbors, help us to reach out for help where we need it. Show us the strength of asking for help, of requesting an extension, of telling a friend when we are struggling, of seeking the resources and support that we need. Just as those who came to Jesus for healing were often uncertain and afraid, we may feel frightened when we need to rely on others for support. Help us to know our value, to ask for what we need, and to trust that you go with us in every frightening situation. Amen.

Written by Rev. Hannah Lundberg, UKirk@UMich (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

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