Emmitsburg Council of Churches


The Holy Gospel according to St. Mark

1:29-39 Glory to You O Lord!

1:29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 1:30 Now Simon's mother©in©law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 1:31 He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them. 1:32 That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 1:33 And the whole city was gathered around the door. 1:34 And 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. 1:35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 1:36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 1:37 When they found him, they said to him, "Everyone is searching for you." 1:38 He 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." 1:39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons. This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to You O Christ!

Peter's Mother in Law...

A Dialogue Sermon by Pr Jon Greenstone

P. O' Hey, good morning over there. What a beautiful day! I feel so energetic and vibrant -- what a nice week this is shaping up to be!! . . . Why, I feel like I could just go out and pick up rocks in the Vineyard or clean out the goat Stalls ALL DAY! . . . It's Just SO Good to be Alive!

L. -- I'm glad your so Happy and Chipper this morning-

Not that I'm not Happy == in fact, I am! ! (Then becoming more negative) . . . . But Let Me tell you all about the Past Couple of Days . . . You Know . . . I could be DEAD RIGHT NOW!!

P. WHAT did you say?? . . . Let me see if I heard you Correctly . . . I THINK YOU SAID Your Happy . . . but . . . then you said you could be dead? . . . What do mean by that??

L. First of all, . . . if it weren't for the Miracle that Happened I wouldn't be even standing here today. I'd Be Dead! Secondly, although I'm Glad to be alive . . . I'm just a wee bit -- EXHAUSTED!!

P. Good Lord Almighty! Glad your Still among the Living . . . . Say, What do mean about that Miracle Thing? You don't "look" like a Miracle Happened!

L. WATCH IT BUSTER! -- Or You'll be Needing a Miracle of Your Own!! I May be Simon Peter's Mother in-Law, But I don't have to take any extra stuff from You!! You'd better SHOW Me SOME Respect!!

P. Ok, Ok . . . I didn't really mean anything by questioning your Miracle. But what happened, how did you get a miracle?? What kind of miracle?? Who did it??

L. Alright already! – So many questions, I sure could use a good cup of Egyptian Coffee right now! . . Hold on a minute, and let me see if I can sort out what happened two days ago. You do know my son-in-law, Peter, Right?

P. Aaah ...Yea. Simon the Fishermen. He and Andrew run the Fish stand down at the Market in Capernaum.

L. That's right. "Simon The Fisherman." Simon, Simon Simon . . . Fish, Fish Fish! Usually I get stuck washing "Simon the Fisherman's" stinky clothing! Oh, not that I mind it so much . . ., he provides enough for my daughter and the household. But boy did I used to get tired of those Fishing stories, and those "Buddies" of his! (THEY need somebody to CLEAN their dirty laundry! . . and their filthy Mouths too!! But I had to come live with Peter and my daughter when my husband died.

P. But what about the Miracle? . . . not that Peter taking you in isn't a miracle . .. (Auh oh, I shouldn't said that)

L. Hold On! I know what you just muttered under your breadth! . . . I'll get to the Miracle story in just a minute! I'm just making sure you know exactly who I am and where I Live. As you know, Simon and Andrew have been fairly successful with the fish market. There's been good days and bad days, but since they met the New Rabbi . . . Seems more and more people come by the house. Peter said something about Fishing for Men now–I don't know how we're going to make ends meet with so many hungry mouths to feed. But He's certainly reeling them in!

P. So the people come to the house now to get fish!??


P. Well let's see, There was that big incident last week when the two brothers James and John left there father Sitting in the Boat while they went to follow the Rabbi Jesus . . . .

L. You're Getting Warmer!!

P. Then there was the story about David's Donkey breaking lose on the south end of town and eating all of Bar-Abraham's Persian melons . . . .

L. Oh Please, Your giving me a headache!! Just listen to me and I'll tell you exactly what happened and why I'm A Living Miracle!

P. Alright, I'll try not to Interrupt . . .

L. As I was saying, It all began a couple of Days Ago. Simon, got introduced to Jesus, the New Rabbi you mentioned, Jesus of Nazareth. So, basically, Simon has given up his fishing career, just like those other two boys you mentioned . . . . like I said, I told my daughter–how can we feed the family if your husband doesn't work?! I had no idea how we would make ends meet, but then, (looking far away) ..on the other Hand – Even I am Seeing Something New that Rabbi Jesus has brought to us. Yahweh our God, Jehovah Jireh . . . The One Who Provides . . . He is providing for us Miraculously!

P. So that's the Miracle? You're Getting free fish since Peter's given up his Fishing Career? Wow! I wonder if I can give up work in the Vineyard . . . and The Wine Vats will still overflow with New Wine!?! Well Praise the Lord!!

L. NO! YOU DUMM--DUMM! That's not where this story is going. There's no Miraculous Fish Supply . . . but the Lord has Come to us!!

P. I don't understand. But come to think of it. I did see a HUGE CROWD in front of Simon's House yesterday . . . seems they were there from morning until late in the evening. What was the Rabbi teaching?

L. He was teaching many things – Even more, He was healing people and calling out the Demons and I almost Died and . . .

P. You mean You Saw the Rabbi actually delivering people from Sickness and Leprosy and stuff? But why did you almost die??


P. Ok Ok . . . (Looking to the congregation) You Know – Peter's Really Got His Hands Full with This Mother-In-LAW!!

L. I HEARD THAT! . . . You know, I have a Very Large Wooden Spoon Handy over Here . . . . hold out those knuckles Sonny Boy . . . !

P. Good G_d! I Mean goodness Gracious!! That Is a very LARGE and Heavy SPOON MAM!

L. And I know how to use it too! . . .Now, Back to the story!! (Very nice voice) As I was saying my dear (wave the spoon):

So Jesus came to our home 2 days ago. I wanted to help my daughter in the kitchen to make some of Peter's favorite dishes – so that we could properly entertain the Rabbi, Jesus. But no sooner had we started to bake bread when I fell ill to the point I could no longer stand! I became so weak -- I thought I would fall over in the hot coals of the cooking fire. Peter and Andrew had to carry me up to the roof of the house. It's just a little bit cooler up there with the breeze off of the Lake.

I was so sick, I felt my heart racing – but then slowing. . .

I could barely breath, then fever and chills. My daughter ran down to the Town Well at the center of town to fetch some cool water for my fever. In the mean time the children fanned me at the side of the bed with a large Palm leaf. But the Fever was sucking the life out of me.

P. Kind of like when a fire pulls in air, but puts out hot smoke?

L. Aah . . . Yea, something like that . . . now don't interrupt me! (Waving the spoon!)

L. Somebody called for the town physician, that's just about the time when Jesus had arrived and was just starting his lesson downstairs at the front of the house. Peter immediately told Jesus how sick I was. And Jesus said, "There's No need to call for the Physician . . . Take me up to your Mother-In-Law – She will be ok."

P. I heard that just last week Jesus was in the Synagogue and some man was crying out . . . "Jesus, Jesus, You are the Son of G."


P. Ok, but Jesus cast out an Evil Spirit and everyone was praising G__

L. (SPOON!) SHHH! ... That's better dear . . .

So There I was, Burning up with the FEVER one minute --the Next minute Chilled to the Marrow! I'd never been so sick in all my life! Suddenly, there was the Rabbi. . I looked over at him. But my eyes were glazing over, I felt I was slipping away from this life. Everything seemed like it was getting gray and shadowy. I was miserable and in pain. Then, from the corner of my Right Eye . . . I saw his hand reaching out toward mine, which was almost listless at the side of the bed –I had no strength left. I saw Jesus extending his forefinger toward mine. And as I turned my head in his direction, He met my gaze with his kind brown eyes. I can still see him at that exact moment, . . . it was as though God was looking into my Soul!

P. Oh ..My .. God! . . .

L. (SPOON!) . . . It seemed that time just stood still. It was a moment I'll never forget. Like, when you can see everything that ever happened in your life flash by in your mind in just an instant...

P. Yea, I once had an exper. . .ce--

L. (Spoon!) (Seriously) Jesus took hold of my hand. At first his touch was soft and gentle. But then he firmed his grip upon me. For a second I thought this was the end. But in an instant he was lifting me . . . to my utter amazement –This old body of mine was as light as air!! I thought I would fall helplessly on the floor, but an energy rushed into my being . . . and I had strength!! I pulled my feet and swung my legs over the side of the bed. In an Instant, I was standing!!

P. You Did Experience a Miracle!

L. Yes I did! . . . For several moments I stood looking into the Rabbi's eyes. There was nothing I could say that seemed adequate or appropriate. But it didn't seem to matter either. I knew in my mind He was just a man, but in my Soul -- I know that God Was With me Right then and there!

P. What a remarkable testimony! . . . I feel inspired by what you have shared, Surely he must be the one we have waited for.

L. Indeed, our Messiah is with us. My life will never be the same. . . . After he had lifted me from the bed and I had an instant to think and touch my own body . . . I knew I had been completely healed of the fever. Seeing me standing and being quite myself again--Everyone in the room was speechless. Then we all looked at Jesus and Shouted, "Halleluia! Our God from On High Has Come!" Then I zipped back down the steps to go help my daughter in the kitchen. I told her that it was Jesus who Lifted me from my sick bed and we were very excited as we prepared more food. But then we could hear the crowd in the Front room, it seemed as though the Whole Town was at our door!

P. So Jesus was doing more healings?

L. Yes, and delivering people from diseases–like you've never seen. Of course some had come just for the food! Speaking of miracles -- somehow there was enough of that Fish Chowder and Hot Bread for all! -- We worked and worked over those hot ovens. That's why I'm exhausted!

P. This is a remarkable thing that happened for you. I want to know Jesus more now that I've heard your Testimony.

L. Indeed. We're all given some part of Jesus. He raises us all from our Sick beds. For we all have places in life where we need his touch and his strength to serve and tell others about God's love. But you know what is Strange?

P. What's that?

L. Jesus kept saying to everyone that he healed . . . "Don't tell anyone where you got this. Don't tell anyone who did this for you."

P. That is strange, why wouldn't Jesus want his notoriety to spread?

L. Guess he's not like the others who do this sort of thing for money. He's Genuine – he's the Son of God!

P. That's what I'm hearing around town and now I believe it!

L. Praise God for Jesus, for he is the one who is Come for you and me. His Strong Arm will Pull us through this Life and into the Next.

P. Amen, I want to follow him and serve him too.

L. & P. Praise the Lord! Let's serve him Together! Amen

Read more writings of Pastor Jon