St Stephen year B5

Job 7: 1-4, 6-7;
1 Corinthians 9: 16 to 19
22-23 Mark 1: 29-39



 'Sick to Death'


A young Sunday School pupil was being told the story which we heard in the Gospel today of how Jesus healed Simon Peter's mother-in-law of the fever that was afflicting her. Being used to somewhat old-fashioned language the teacher told her class, in vivid detail, that the woman was a "sick unto death" but that "when Jesus came to her house she began to feel much better".


Will this young pupil got hold of the wrong end of the stick. She often had her mother say that she was a "sick to death" of ironing or cooking or tidying the children's rooms.


So when the child got home and her mother asked her what she had learnt Sunday school that day the little girl said: "we learnt about Peter's mother-in-law. Peter and Andrew were always bringing their friends James and John back to her house for tea after school. And they always behaved so badly and quarrelled with each other over the tea table that she became sick to death of the whole lot of them. So she said to Peter "I'm sick to death of giving tea to all your horrible little friends. Don't ask them back home anymore. But Peter said to her "oh Mum, I've asked another friend called Jesus to come to tea tomorrow. You really like him". So Peter's mother-in-law said "very well, just this once".


But when Jesus came she liked him so much that she told Peter she wasn't feeling sick to death any more and he could invite any of his friend's home to tea so long as Jesus came with them.


Well the child got hold of the wrong end of the stick as they say. Nevertheless, what the child described, Christians getting to feel fed up and sick to death of going to Church and associating with Jesus Christ's other friends is common enough to be worth looking at more closely.


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