Not missing the point

Our first testament (Isaiah 40) and gospel readings (Mark 1:29-39) remind us how easy it is to miss the point when reading scripture. Isaiah is too often seen as God giving us the energy we need to achieve whatever we seek to achieve. We forget that healing stories are signposts and don't look where they point, and then see Peter's mother in law as the ideal women - in the back ground serving, leaving the men to the real work of ministry. But both readings invite us to so much more.
Both Isaiah and Mark remind us of the true place of God in our story. This is not a god of quick fixes and fixed roles. Here we meet the God who is in this story for the long haul. It was still a long way home for the exiles - to a land they knew nothing about and which held unknown dangers and hardship. They did not go alone.
Jesus heals to restore broken people to broken community. Those healed communities are signs of the reign of God breaking in on their hopelessness. Peter's mother in law shows how to be in community made whole - she serves as Jesus serves. She is a true disciple. Today God invites us into true community - to serve each other in hope even when it all seems too hard.