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Faith Daily | 6 December 2021

PRAYER of the DAY - Advent Two APBA p466



Merciful God,

who sent your messenger John the Baptist

to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:

give us grace to heed his warning and forsake our sins,

that we may greet with joy the coming of our Redeemer,

Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.



GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 5: 17-26


17 One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting nearby (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal.18Just then some men came, carrying a paralysed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus;19but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. 20When he saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you.’ 21Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, ‘Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ 22When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, ‘Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? 23Which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven you”, or to say, “Stand up and walk”? 24But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to the one who was paralysed—‘I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home.’ 25Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. 26Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’


GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: John Vickers


So often this story is focused upon the fact that Jesus healed a paralytic who had been lowered through the roof, because his friend could not get any other access to the Messiah. I can remember this story from early childhood, but the entire emphasis was lost. Because the first words Jesus utters are “ Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.”


With this simple phrase in front of the assembled Pharisees and doctors of law, Jesus declares himself to be the Messiah. Because only God could forgive sins, even though once a year the High Priest on the day of Atonement, atoned for the sins of Israel, it was atonement and not forgiveness. Jesus underlined this declaration by referring to himself as the Son of Man, a title reserved only for the Messiah, as we read in Zachariah. He had perceived by his divine perception that there was sin in the paralytic’s life which needed forgiveness, and he directly addressed the issue because it either gave him life eternal after death, or a dreadful alternative. This was more important to Christ than healing a physical ailment. We as Christians seek to be with the God of love, a God who does not tolerate sin in His holy presence. We know “ There is no man righteous, no not one” and in order to gain forgiveness, we must repent, and do it on a daily basis because “ we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.”


We may speak of the need for love until the cows come home, but unless you earnestly and humbly repent, and hear in the depth of your soul “ your sins are forgiven” all is in vain.


FINAL PRAYER: Alternate Collect for this week APBA p466


O Lord Jesus Christ,

who at your first coming

sent your messenger to prepare your way before you:

grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries

may likewise so prepare and make ready your way

by turning the hearts of the disobedient

to the wisdom of the righteous,

that at your second coming to judge the world

we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;

for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

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