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Pastoral Visit
Written February 20, 2024

 

Hello, Elizabeth!  How have you been?  I haven't talked to you for months.  My husband Pete says, “Davina, you've got to get out of the house more.”  But there's so much that has to be done around here!  Especially since Pete's mother Glaphys moved in with us.

And then she really became a burden a couple of weeks ago when she caught a cold and it turned into something worse, something like the flu.  She took to her bed, of course.  She was burning up with fever, and she moaned and groaned all the time.  Pete and I tried to help her, but there wasn't much we could do.

At the end of last week, Pete's brother Andy came to town.  He brought a friend with him, a man named Josh.

Josh, as it turns out, is some sort of teacher.  The president of the synagogue invited him to preach on the Sabbath.  That was yesterday.  And wouldn't you know it, there in the synagogue we saw Yaniv!  You remember him:  the crazy screaming man.  The one we've all learned to avoid and ignore.

Yaniv stood up and yelled, “Go away, stranger!  What do you have to do with us, you foreigner?  Have you come to destroy us?”

But Josh shouted back even louder, “Be quiet, you demon!”  Well, Yaniv isn't used to being ordered around like that.  He fell down and stuck his thumb in his mouth, then slunk out of the synagogue.

That impressed the rest of us.  We were amazed.  Josh acted like he had the authority to give an order to an evil spirit and drive it out.

Afterwards, Andy brought the preacher to our house.  Pete's friends Jim and John came too.

Of course, our guests couldn't help hearing Glaphys moaning in the back room.  When we explained about my mother-in-law's illness, Josh went to her bedside.

“Don't worry, poor dear,” he told her.  “I'm told that you've had a hard life.  You have borne many burdens.  Lately you've been laid low by a fever, but this too shall pass.”  And he held her hand and patted it.

“Thank you, kind sir,” she said.  “I'm just glad that someone cares.”  Then she added, “You know, I do think I'm feeling a little better.”

“You are?” he said.

“Yes, I am.  And I'm afraid I've been neglecting my household duties.  You're a guest in this house, and I ought to get up and serve you some refreshment.”

And would you believe it?  She struggled to her feet and went to the kitchen!  That's right, Elizabeth.  It happened just that way.  As soon as the stranger spoke kindly to Glaphys, her fever broke!  Pete called it a miracle, but I'm not so sure.

Anyway, the neighbors learned what had happened, and they thought that maybe Josh could cure what ailed them.  As the sun was going down to end the Sabbath, all sorts of folks brought their sick relatives to our home.  Josh laid his hands on every one, and every one felt they had been healed.  A few were carried away by the general excitement and shouted that this miracle-worker must be the son of God!  But he wouldn't allow them to say that.  Pete was mightily impressed.

Then this morning, Josh announced he was moving on.  Folks didn't want him to leave, but he said, “The other towns also need to be comforted.  They need to hear the good news about the kingdom of God.”  Jim and John and Andy say they'll go with him.  We wish them him well.

 

(a retelling of Luke 4:31-41 with Mark 1:29)

Click here for other Bible stories I've retold in the first person.

TBT

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