Summary: A sermon about "being raised with Christ" in order to "serve."
“Christianity Equals Service”
In November of 2010 a wedding party was unexpectedly called into action right after the ceremony.
While they were posing for pictures on a scenic ledge, a woman who was not involved in the wedding fell into the water and started drowning.
Dressed in his tuxedo, the best man jumped in and brought the woman back toward the shore.
Then the bride, who was a trained nurse, waded into the water and started giving the lady CPR.
By the time the ambulance got there, the woman had regained consciousness.
After the daring rescue, the drenched but heroic best man and the bride happily went back to the wedding reception.
This unusual event serves as a great image for the calling of every Christian and every Church.
Our Gospel Lesson for this morning picks up where we left off last week.
Jesus has just cast a demon out of a person in the synagogue in Capernaum.
He leaves the place of worship and heads to Simon Peter’s house with four of His disciples.
Perhaps they are going to Simon’s house in order to get some rest, or have something to eat.
It is, after-all, the Sabbath.
Whatever the reason for going there, when they arrive at the house, they find Simon’s mother-in-law in bed and sick with a fever.
Then we are told that Jesus “went to her, took her by the hand, and raised her up.
The fever left her, and she served them.”
The verb translated as “raised her up” is the same word used to describe Jesus’ Resurrection later on in Mark 16:6.
In other words, the healing of Simon’s mother-in-law can be looked at as a metaphor for Resurrection or Christian Conversion!!!
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we are raised to new life in Christ, to new purpose in Christ!!!
Or to put it more accurately, we are raised to live the life we were created to live in the first place!!!
To quote a colleague, “There are two great moments in a person’s life: the moment you were born, and the moment you realize why you were born.”
Do you know why you were born?
Before Jesus healed and saved her, Simon Peter’s mother-in-law had a fever…
…she was sick…
…she was immobile.
And isn’t this, in a sense, the way we all are before we come to know Christ?
We could pretty much say that this entire world is “sick in bed with a fever.”
We are paralyzed and unable to do what we are created to do.
And we are also unable to concentrate on anything other than our sickness.
Isn’t that how you feel when you are sick and in bed with a fever?
You don’t feel like doing anything.
And all you can think about is how miserable you feel.
All you can think about is yourself.
We live in a self-absorbed culture.
People are sick with the fever of unfulfillment.
And so they run after all kinds of remedies in order to try and treat their sickness.
Some run after money and materialism, but the fever remains.
Others become involved in addictive behaviors, but these things only make them more and more sick.
Mary Ellen’s first grade class is studying calendars.
It’s hard for 6-year-olds to grasp the concept of days, weeks, months and years.
So, one day last week Mary Ellen and I spent the better part of an afternoon working on this.
In trying to teach Mary Ellen that Sunday is the first day of the week, I suggested that she remember that Sunday is the day we go to church.
And the reason we go to Church on Sunday is because Jesus rose again on the first day of the week.
And then I said that Sunday, or the first day of the week is also the first day of creation.
And because of Christ, it is now the first day of re-Creation!!!
For God began creating the world on a Sunday, and God recreated a sick and fallen world on a Sunday as well!!!
Has your life been re-Created in Christ?
This is when we begin to realize why we were born, and begin the most exciting of journeys!!!
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ working itself out in our individual lives is the moment when the fever breaks, the sickness subsides and we get up out of bed!!!
This is what happened to Simon Peter’s mother-in-law.
Notice that when the “fever left her,” she got up and began to “serve.”
And this is what happens when we are raised to new life in Christ.
We are finally able to stop focusing only on ourselves, and we are freed to concentrate and begin to serve others.
I understand that in Egypt there is an abandoned graveyard which is located at the end of a garbage-lined alley.