I noticed something in this week's Bible Lesson that I had not thought about before. It was in the story of Jesus healing the man who was palsied or paralyzed. That man apparently had lead quite a sinful life and was suffering from his actions. But he had friends who dearly loved him - unlike the Prodigal Son whose so-called friends abandoned him. These four guys cared so much, were so determined that their friend get his healing, that they refused to be shut out from the source of that healing, Jesus.
So this man had been carried, who could not walk on his own, and set down before the Master, in front of the huge crowd gathered to listen to Jesus preach. The crowd included scribes and Pharisees who did not believe Jesus was the promised Messiah. They were further incensed when Jesus addresses this man, this sinner that they probably were familiar with, and tells him his sins are forgiven. We are told earlier in the Lesson that Jesus came, not to judge, but to save, and this is exactly what he was doing for this man and for his faithful friends.
He tells the man to 'arise'. Lift up that thought of the person you thought you were. Discover your true identity as the beloved and pure son of God. Come up out of the paralyzing thought that you have made poor choices, turned away from God and your loved ones, and must remain in this condition. One wonders how many others may have looked upon that man and thought or even said, 'serves you right, now lie there and deal with it'.
Jesus continues. Take up thy couch. You who have had to carried by your friends, pick up that stretcher and you carry it away from here. You won't need physical therapy to reverse the palsy, you don't need time to recover from this. Get up right now and pick up that couch. Take control of your choices and actions. Lean only on God.
And he finishes with the directive 'go into thine house'. Go home. Now that may have been a further proof that all was forgiven and he who had been staying with his friends after choosing to be apart from his family could now return, as had the Prodigal Son. Or in an even higher sense, home could be consciousness, our spiritual awareness of who we really are as the very image and likeness of God, good. Change your thought about your status.
The man does as he is told and Luke tells us that he went his way rejoicing, glorifying God. One would like to believe that he will now live a better life and sin no more.
How encouraging to think that no matter what it is that might try to hold us captive or make it seem that we are unable to make any progress, divine Love can lift us up and set us on our way healed. Christian Science shows us how to heal both mind and body, as we understand the Principle in action on our behalf. God is with us. Always. Under all circumstances. The Christ is present and accessable, not to judge and punish, but to heal and save. That should send you on your way rejoicing.