By Craig Stevenson
During the calendar of the church, summer is when attendance drops to its lowest points of the year. Most summers this is because calendars are full of vacations, camping, summer camps, and other fun things. This year, well. We know. COVID-19.
Instead, we’re spending time in our own pools. Maybe this “pool” is your pond, lake, or below-ground pool. In my case, it’s a toddler sprinkler/pool. In these pool settings, we are often still practicing social distancing as much as possible, with only family or closest friends—and avoiding the large, public pools.
Nonetheless, in Jesus’ day, we see in John 5 that Jesus used his time at the pool and on the Sabbath to heal others. While Jesus used that Sabbath day to heal someone else, I would encourage us to make sure we are using the Sabbath to heal others in today’s negativity we are facing in a similar manner. We are bombarded with things that hurt our souls and need healing while we are at our own pools. Our eyes and mind are absorbing twenty-four-hour cable news, social media galore, and everyone sharing political opinions in either aggressive or passive aggressive manners is not what Jesus expects from us as Christians.
Instead of engaging in a tit-for-tat or justifying his actions publicly, Jesus healed the stranger and then disappeared. When is the last time we helped a stranger one-on-one and just disappeared? Later, when confronted why Jesus healed on the Sabbath, he simply answered: “My Father is still working, and I am working too.”
Let’s spend July working by working to heal our communities from the division around us. Jesus’ words rang true then and is still true: God is working in our world, and we can too. This July, let’s be like Jesus and work to heal the world, disappear, and remain humbled.