Here is a particularly good post by UCC pastor Lillian Daniel published by and used with permission from Stillspeaking Daily Devotional.
“They brought a paraplegic to Jesus, carried by four men. When they weren’t able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher.”
Early in his ministry, Jesus had a reputation for healing, and so he was starting to get mobbed wherever he went. The crowds were so big because there were, and still are, so many people who long for physical healing. The irony was that in order to push through to the front of the crowd, you would need physical strength. The sickest and physically weakest would never have a chance by themselves.
But one man had friends who were determined to get him to Jesus. They were so determined that they climbed up on the roof and lowered him into the courtyard, so that he would not be left out. What a ministry of transportation!
In church, when people lose their ability to drive, or find themselves unable to be as mobile as they once were, it’s hard for them to get to worship. Sometimes they feel forgotten when no one notices that they have been missing. Sometimes they are reluctant to ask for a ride or for help.
They need good friends like the ones in this story. They need people who will call to see where they have been, offer them a ride to church, or bring them word from the community. They need people who are determined to get them to Jesus.
Dear God, is there someone in my community who needs to get to Jesus? Is there someone who needs a ride to church or a word from our community? Is there someone who feels forgotten by our church, or even by God? Open my heart to their needs. Amen.