Genesis 22:1-19; Ps 115 i will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living; Matt 9:1-8
"So that you may know the son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins-he then said tot he paralytic, Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home. He rose and went home."
Rise and pick up your mat and go home.
Today's we celebrate the day of independence in the United States. 237 years ago our founding fathers, the men of the 13 colonies voted to separate themselves from the rule of England. They were already in a rebellion, though the 4th of July marked a beginning to an official revolution.
Much has been written about this monumental event in the history of peoples.
Often we forget that the men were just like us. They wanted to own land and wanted to protect their land and wanted to be free from taxation without representation and so on and so forth.
They were not giants, they were not intellectually superior they simply had a cause that united them.
They were rebels with a cause and didn't give up on it.
Jesus could be considered a rebel with a cause.
Jesus was a game changer. He changed the rules of the game by his mannerisms and by his out reach to the afflicted and the outcast all for the sake of the relationship of forgiveness to the ache of the human heart.
Jesus was a rebel that refused to give up on the mission and purpose he was given. The battle cry could be summed up in the simple pronouncement to the paralytic, "Rise, pick up your mat and go home."
This is the rebel cry of the Son of God who comes to address himself to each of us, empowering us to walk and experience true freedom from sin, true freedom from our past, freedom to be children of God wrapped in the merciful arms of the Father.
Today we continue that rebellion,that revolution by refusing to stay down, by refusing to be handicapped, but rather by rising, by walking, by taking a stride in the direction where our true home awaits.
Rise and pick up you mat. Let forgiveness ring.