We are a small Episcopal Church on the banks of the Rappahannock in Port Royal, Virginia. We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Port Royal, the Nandtaughtacund, who are still here, and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

Healing of Peter’s Mother-in-law in Mark’s Gospel – 2 Views

“Freedom For”

By David Lose, president of Luther Seminary, Philadelphia

“Christ Healing the Mother of Simon Peter”- John Bridges

Jesus frees us not only from things that seek to oppress us, but also for a life of purpose, meaning, and good works. (Yes, good works, not those things that we do in the vain hope of justifying ourselves before God or others, but rather those things that we do as a response to the Gospel to serve our neighbor stemming from a sense of joy, love, and freedom.)

Quoting Sarah Henrich on healing Peter’s Mother in Law in Mark’s Gospel:

‘It is very important to see that healing is about restoration to community and restoration of a calling, a role as well as restoration to life. For life without community and calling is bleak indeed.’

Which makes me wonder. What did the man from whom the unclean spirit was cast out a week ago do after his healing? What did all the people Jesus heals in this week’s story do once they are freed from the various ailments of mind, body, and spirit that had captivated them? Some, I imagine, were simply so grateful to be made well – so grateful, that is, that they had been freed from something debilitating or destructive – that they returned as quickly as possible to their old lives and routines and relationships. But some, I’m willing to bet, including Simon’s mother-in-law, recognize that they weren’t only freed from something, they were also freed for something, for lives of purpose and meaning and service and generosity and more.

Frederick Buechner: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

“The Church’s First Deacon”

By Suzanne Guthrie, “Edge of Enclosure”

Peter’s mother-in-law is lifted up, as in the Resurrection we celebrate in Easter. And she begins to serve – just as the apostles are sent out, as we celebrate in Pentecost. She is the church’s first deacon. She announces the Gospel by her action. Healed, transformed, and readily at service she slips into her role as easily as if her life-time had prepared her for it. Which it had, of course. She serves, like Jesus himself. For the son of man came not to be served but to serve. (Mark 10:45) She receives the Light into her home, she is raised up by the Light, the Light shines through her as she ministers to others.

And, say witnesses, the place designated as her home in Capernaum is to this day the site of many healings.

Simon’s house, run by his mother-in-law, becomes a household of God, a church, a gathering of those in need of healing and forgiveness. But even Jesus must refresh his relationship with Divine Love through the embrace of solitude in order to continue his mission of love.