Mark 1:30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told [Jesus] about her at once. 31 He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
Do you remember the last time you were ill? So sick that someone had to bring meals to you? When I have been that sick, a day in bed reading, sleeping, and watching TV, did not feel like much-needed rest, but instead felt like a chore, to able to get up and putter around the house, would have been preferable.
This is what Jesus does for Simon’s mother-in-law. He restores her to her rightful place in the home. Gives back her ability to contribute to her household and to community.
This is what the church does at its best. We give people opportunities to serve. One little inner-city church I served held an annual Christmas shop. People selected by a community ministry could buy gifts for their children at much less than retail, pennies on a dollar. The ministry gave each person a number depending on their needs and the church provided the toys. I remember two things about this event: first, people were pleased to buy gifts for their children and not merely pass gifts strangers donated; and second, the people waiting for their turn to enter the shop would urge people with greater needs forward in the line and while they shopped, they considered those waiting outside. This one-day Christmas shop gave the neediest members of this community opportunities to care for their family and to care for their neighbors.
How can we give you an opportunity to serve? How can you help someone else arise from whatever holds him or her down and serve with you?