Friday, January 31, 2014

True Hope for the Helpless

It was a repulsive place. Nobody went there unless it was absolutely necessary. Low, painful moans hung in the air. The stench of human excrement was overwhelming. But worst of all was the helplessness.

The Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem was a place for the sick and disabled to congregate, to grasp at the only hope they had for bettering their lives, no matter how fragile that hope might be. It was rumored that occasionally an angel would stir up the waters of the pool and the first person who managed to drag his body into the water would be healed.

If there had been miraculous healings, they didn’t take place very often. Some people had been waiting by the waters for almost four decades. The pool of Bethesda reflected vividly the tragedy of human life: brokenness with little prospect of becoming whole again. That is why so many pretended the place did not exist. But there was one who not only refused to ignore the suffering of Bethesda, he went there to do something about it.

This Sunday we will study the account of Jesus healing a paralyzed man who had waited by the waters of the pool for 38 years, hoping for a miracle. That miracle happened, but not the way the man had imagined. Instead, it came in the form of a preacher called Jesus of Nazareth – a prophet the common people loved and the religious leaders hated. And it was precisely because of Bethesda type moments that there were such vast extremes in peoples’ reactions to Jesus. The people loved him because he went to them, no matter where they might be, no matter how humble or humiliating the circumstances. The powerful hated him because by going to people where they were at, Jesus reminded them of their own lack of compassion and empathy.

Jesus Christ – he is true hope for the helpless. Join us this weekend for one of our services. Look at what he does. Listen to what he says. Then consider the powerful hope Jesus can give to your life!

Saturday night worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.