Speeding Up and Slowing Down

Dear Friends,

Mark 2:1-12 & 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:15

The gospel has more than one speed in its effective impact. “Immediately” is a favourite term of the Gospel of Mark. In this text we are told that Jesus counters his critics; “immediately” he heals the paralyzed man. The man “immediately” went out, healed. There is an instantaneous effect of Jesus’ ministry, according to Mark. No waiting, no delay, no indecision!

The German pastor Johann Christoph Blumhardt famously counselled his companions in faith to “hasten and wait.” The phrase catches both the urgency of the Gospel lesson and the slow process of the imagery of Paul. There is a time of urgency for faith when action must be taken, and there is a time for watching and waiting until the time is right.

Lent is a time to reflect on our several inclinations about hurrying and waiting. Some of us are impatient all the time. Others of us are inclined to watch and wait all the time. Faith requires us to have more than one speed and to know when context and circumstance require speeding up or slowing down.

God in whose hand are all our times, give us a proper sense of your speed so that we know when it is wise to hurry and when prudent to wait. In his name. Amen.

God’s blessing be yours,

Deacon Stephen