He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them. Mark 1.31
During a study group on the Four Gospels a few years ago, we asked one question of each other: If the Gospel according to Matthew looks like this; the Gospel according to Luke looks like this; the Gospel according to Mark looks like this and the Gospel according to John looks like this: what does the Gospel look like to you? What does the gospel of Jesus say to you? What story would you tell that best describes the gospel according to you or to your faith community?
This week’s lectionary Gospel (Mark 1.29-39) presents another little picture of what Gospel may look like.
In the narrative, Jesus has already touched the life of Simon suddenly, unexpectedly, that morning while Simon was working on his fishing equipment. Now it happened that Simon’s mother in law came ill. In Mark’s particular community illness is usually described as an issue of the involvement of harmful spirits (whether it is the wind that is “howling” over the sea, or a fever that is “raging” in a person). In that world, this is how the gospel happens. First, the follower of Jesus, Simon, tells Jesus about his beloved mother-law. He prayed for her. Second, Jesus goes to the beloved and “took her by the hand” and “lifted her up.” Jesus brings a healing touch. Third, the raging fever “left her.” She knew healing. Fourth, “she began to serve them.” (The Greek word for “to serve” is diakonia, to serve, also, “to act as a deacon”.) So, prayed for by the faith community, touched by the Gospel, she began to live a life of service and generosity.
It is a beautiful little thumbnail of the Gospel isn’t it? Perhaps, it is may be one of the ways you would paint and more importantly, live, the Gospel according to you?
In another medium, here may be another. Take a moment for this video from David Wesley (who describes himself as a “Self-producing artist creating multi-track magic in my basement to share the gospel and have a little fun on the side.”)