Go To The Mat

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In Luke 5:17-26, some men are carrying a buddy on a mat. The hope is to get the man on the mat in front of Jesus so he can heal him. When the men get their buddy to where Jesus is, they are faced with an obstacle. The home where Jesus is at is very crowded with people. They see no way to maneuver the mass of humanity and get into the home. Then one of the friends is graced with the creativity to think outside the box and says,“ let's go up on the roof and lower our buddy down, so that Jesus might heal him."(Luke 5:19) Low and behold the idea works and Jesus heals the man. “When Jesus saw their faith he said, your sins are forgiven you."(Luke 5:20)

What this story offers us is a biblical model of friendship. Sometimes we are the person carrying the mat and other times we are the person on the mat. However, whether we are on the mat or carrying it, the goal is always the same- get in front of the ultimate relationship which is with Jesus. Jesus is the one who can heal us, forgive our sins, and move us beyond loneliness into eternal community.

It can be hard to know at times when we are on the mat and when we are carrying it. When I met my friend Sharm Scheuerman early this spring he had a diagnosis of terminal cancer. It seemed to me to be quite clear that if any relationship developed between Sharm and myself I would be doing some heavy lifting. What I found was quite the contrary. Sharm and his lovely wife Kathy entered my life to be servants of Jesus to help carry me.Through Basketball Club International (BCI), Young Life, their Church, family and community, the Scheuermans had served Jesus all their lives and were not going to let terminal cancer prevent them from casting a vision for the gospels' eternal truth. On May 23rd, Sharm spoke at GGCC and preached the word on “The Dash,” the mark on a tombstone between the years of birth and death and told us of how that dash represented our life here on earth. On Monday of this week Sharm Scheuerman died, his wife Kathy sent out an email saying                                                               Sharm Scheuerman May 16, 1934 – August 30, 2010.

Sharm lives on now in eternal truth because of his faith and friendship with Jesus the crucified and risen one. Sharm's mission to serve Jesus goes on here on earth because Sharm risked to make a friendship fast with the likes of me and you, even in his dying days. Sharm Scheuerman made the most he could of his time in the dash. Sharm and Kathy Scheuerman offer each of us a witness to the Jesus model of friendship. A model that understands we each carry the others mat and we are each sinners on the mat as well. May we each strive to carve out friendships that build such community. Let us be people who 'go to the mat' for one another.

See you on Sunday.

Still in one peace,

David J.Jensen

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