Posted on Feb 01, 2018 by John Holt
29As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them. 32That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. 35In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” 38He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” 39And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons. Mark 1:29-39
I am truly blessed to have been raised and influenced by some very strong women in my family. My Grandma Holt was one of the only female accountants at the Ford Motor Company in the 50’s and 60’s. My Grandma Anderson was a Navy Officer during WWII who actually outranked my grandpa. When I was in high school, my mom worked full time and put herself through college to become an occupational therapist. What's incredible to me is that they did this while raising their families as the head of the household. They made an intentional choice to serve and lead far beyond their own needs. I learned early in life just how strong women are as head of the house and leaders in our world.
So, when I first read the above Gospel lesson I was surprised that Simon’s mother-in-law had to get up and serve the men after she was sick with fever. How about we give her a day off to recharge or at least rest up? I can only assume that if it was one of the male disciples they would have been whining and asking for all of their needs to be met. But then I thought about my grandmas and my mom and it became really clear to me.
Simon’s mother-in-law served in response to the gift of Jesus healing. She chose to serve because she had been healed and wanted to pay that forward. That's the same gift I received growing up with such strong and influential women in my life. They taught me that serving others is a gift you freely give as a result of the love you receive.
I am grateful every day for the example set forth by the women in my family. For the unconditional love and the strength of spirit they shared with me. They made me a better person and showed me the power of God’s unconditional love.
Peace- John Holt
Director of Youth and Family Ministries