By Michelle Armbruster

In Mark 2 Jesus faced many barriers. It was Jesus vs. large numbers of people, self-righteousness, false accusations, the religious leaders trying to trap Him, and both physical and spiritual sickness. Although Jesus has all these barriers we learn that He doesn’t let anything stand in the way of His mission.

Jesus did overcome these barriers and more in his path to the cross. The paralytic also had to overcome obstacles to get to Jesus. He had friends that physically carried him to Jesus.

Do you have friends that will carry you to Jesus?

Our practice at University Lutheran Church of serving communion in tables is one I often take for granted. When we are around the altar, I tend to look around to see who I know. Lately, there have been more people in the circle that I don’t know.

Is this an obstacle? Sure, I won’t feel comfortable being honest with those I don’t know well. Can it be overcome? Yes, but it takes constant effort to meet new people and connect with them. I want to join in the Lord’s Supper with a community that carries me to Jesus.

Looking for familiar faces around the altar can take my focus off of the gift of communion. My challenge is to pray for those around the table, to carry them to Jesus. I know some of their fears: death of a parent, health issues, parenting struggles, financial problems, stressful school decisions, job search process, relationship stress, and mental illness.

But others’ needs are less obvious. These things might stand in the way of them developing a deep relationship with Jesus. Which are external? Which are inside their own heart, attitude, or actions? How can I carry them to Jesus?

I’m encouraged when I remember that Jesus defines His mission like this: “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have come to call not the righteous, but sinners.” As a community, this reminds us to admit our challenges and ask for help to overcome our obstacles. Then, let us consciously connect and carry the needs of our community inside and outside of our church body to Jesus.

To look at the Taking Worship Home notes, prayers, and activities for this week click here.