Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

Does your bank advertise itself on TV? If not, it may go to other outlets to make sure you know its ultimate message: “You can trust us.”
In doing so, the hope is that you will soon open an account with them. In this time of so much thievery going on, either by a masked and hooded thug approaching a victim at gunpoint across a store counter, or by the clever and callous online hacking that uses deceit as a method, pointing out the guaranteed trustworthiness of any institution is a surefire way to promote hope. In this inflationary context, do we not need to trust any entity that manages our money?

If we move over to consider our spiritual lives, which involve both a relationship with God and with our neighbor, we can easily see that we need hope, which is to trust God. That trust, which on His part neither falters nor fails, demands that we do our part to reciprocate. Our major threat is from the devil. The devil you say. Hasn’t he been put on the back shelf? Out of place in our technological sophistication? Ah, but never forget that his chief strategy is to convince us that he doesn’t exist. Our Lord Himself had no such doubt. He referenced Satan over thirty times in the New Testament.

God knows we see the devil’s handiwork all over the place. Look how well he has done with the widespread use of pornography. The ease with which pro-abortion devotees have made the murder of children in the womb into a “women’s health issue.”

As we read or hear about the miraculous healings Jesus performs, both among His inner circle of friends and with anyone in need, we know He can meet any need we may have of healing. Do not be lulled into doubt by the fact that these stories took place over 2,000 years ago. That kind of thinking only damages our trust. For God a thousand years are like a day. And the Bible tells us that “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” If doubt starts to damage your trust, remember that the word “gospel “means “good news.” That’s such a matter of fact that-pardon the pun-you can “bank on it.”

Once upon a time two young girls were talking and one said that she had ten pennies. The other girl looked at her hand and only saw five. She said, “You only have five pennies, silly.” Then the first girl replied “I have five and my father told me he would give me five more tonight. So I have ten.” She understood that her father’s promise was as good as done.

God love you and give you His peace.

Reading I: Job 7: 1-4, 6-7
Job compares human life to military service, and also to a day laborer’s work, and ultimately to plain slavery. At this time his life is replete with misery and hopelessness.

Reading II: 1 Corinthians 9: 16-19, 22-23
For Paul, the healing of hearts is itself a blessing, flowing as it does from the gospel.

The Gospel: Mark 1; 29-39
The cure of Peter’s mother-in-law happens so quickly and fully that it is truly miraculous. The evening cures so many others stresses the love and the hope Jesus offers to all those who trust Him.