Scripture: Psalm 103:1-13,22; Mark 2:1-12
Rev. Charles Svendsen
Pastor Charles' Warmup for September 3:
Happy Labor Day Sunday! We are continuing our Summer Psalms sermon series with Psalm 103. Our sermon is entitled: "God, Our Healer." From this majestic portion of Hebrew poetry we will learn anew that God's people are people of memory. We remember that God blesses people with peace, wholeness and justice. We will also be reminded from Psalm 103 that God freely forgives us in Christ. Wholeness and forgiveness are different sides of the same coin. "Who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases," declares the psalmist. Then we will look at the shining example of forgiveness and wholeness in the miracle of the paralyzed man in Mark 2:1-12. I loved this story as a little boy. Maybe it was just the thought of digging a hole in the church roof and lowering a person down on ropes! Jesus in the two-sided coin analogy both forgives and heals. And the story is all about community. Without the paralytic's friends trying every door and finally the roof, the man would never have been healed. See you on Sunday for traditional worship at 9:30 am and contemporary worship at 11:15 am.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul.
When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”