In some ways each of us individually and collectively can represent the friends that are lowering the church down to Christ inch by inch. In some ways each of us individually and collectively can represent the palsied man in a precarious position. We could be toppled over if the bed shifts too dramatically in a certain direction.At the crucial moment, it would take careful coordination to lower the man with palsy from the roof. The four people would have to work in unity and in harmony. There could not be any discord among the four. They would have to lower the man with palsy at the same pace. If someone released the rope faster than the other three, the man would fall out of his bed. He could not hold on by himself due to his weakened condition.
In order to assist the Savior, we have to work together in unity and in harmony. Everyone, every position, and every calling is important. We have to be united in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Finally, the sick, palsied man was laid before Jesus. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee” (Mark 2:5). Jesus showed mercy on him and healed him—not only physically but also spiritually: “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” Isn’t that wonderful? Wouldn’t we like that to happen to all of us too? Certainly I would.
The ultimate goal is to present ourselves before the Savior. When we arrive and He sees the collective mess of our good intentions and best laid plans, I hope He is moved with compassion on our behalf. I hope that He forgives our sins (individual, collective, and organizational) and makes us whole.
Some possible additional takeaways:
1) My job is not to fix the church. That is the Savior's job. My job as a worker is to lower my rope in more or less balance with the other workers. (and maybe encourage the other workers to get on with it. )
2) Celebrate small steps in the right direction.
3) Make room for as many as possible and recognize that the journey will not always be comfortable. We are stuck together in a litter precariously suspended from a cieling by a group of well meaning individuals AND we are prone to spasms. Patience and forgiveness are in order.