Today’s message is based on the last verse in that section, Mark 7:37.
“If I could wave a magic wand…” Don’t you think there are lots of people saying that today?
- “If I could wave a magic wand, I’d make COVID-19 disappear.”
- “If I could wave a magic wand, I’d make millions of COVID-19 tests appear instantly, so that it would be instantly clear who does, and does not have this virus.
- Or, if I couldn’t have either of those, I’d at least wave a magic wand to be able to have many more answers than questions. Often, that’s the worst part about a health crisis – too many questions, and too few answers.
The big problem, of course, is that no magic wand like this exists. So we are left with the next best thing, which is to keep travel and human interaction to a minimum, wash our hands often, and to practice social distancing.
You might think that because Jesus is God, he owns a magic wand. But he doesn’t. Nor has he given a magic wand to us. Make no mistake – Jesus is absolutely all-powerful. Nothing is impossible for him. But here’s the thing: everything Jesus does well aims to save the soul for eternal heaven, not the body for eternal earth. So, instead of a magic wand, what Jesus gives is much better! He gives us himself and his Word.
In today’s selection of Bible verses, Jesus used his power, love and wisdom to heal a man whom others perceived as a deaf, mute foreigner. But this man was not a foreigner to Jesus. Nobody is! And he also wasn’t deaf and mute for very long after Jesus connected with him. As the crowds marinated in the facts, this was the end result of that day: “People were overwhelmed with amazement. ‘He has done everything well,’ they said. ‘He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.'” – Mark 7:37
Jesus has done everything well! He never, ever makes a mistake. He’s never intermittent with his power, wisdom or love, always aiming to save souls for eternal heaven. We have many earthly inconveniences and questions. But can our Savior use things like COVID-19 to lift hearts away from this earth and toward his Word? Yes he can. And yes he will. Dear Jesus, come and rule my heart with your Word! I really don’t want that earthly magic wand anyways. Not when we have a Savior who loves our souls as much as Christ Jesus does!
Dear Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we bow low before you during this time of national calamity. We confess that our sins always deserve your chastening judgments. Yet we also take you at your word when you say that even when you chasten, your goals are loving and good. Set our hearts on things above. Help us to love your Word even more than we would love an imaginary magic wand. Be present with those most directly affected by the coronavirus. In your mercy, make shattered lives whole again. Use these difficult days to make us as a nation deeply aware of our total dependence on you. And give us courage to face the future, whatever it holds, knowing that it – and we – are in your eternal hands. It’s in your holy name we pray, Amen.