Are you a stretcher bearer?

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Christian community”
Our Bible verse for today: “Just then some men came, carrying on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed. They tried to bring him in and set him down before him. Since they could not find a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the roof tiles into the middle of the crowd before Jesus.” Luke 5:18-19 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Will you be a stretcher bearer?”
One day Jesus was in a village in Galilee teaching the people. The house was filled to overflowing and a crowd had gathered outside as well. Then, along came some men carrying a paralyzed friend on a stretcher. They obviously believed that if they could just get their friend to Jesus, He could and would heal him. But the crowd was so thick that they couldn’t get into the house. So, they climbed up on the roof, made a big hole in it, hoisted up their friend on his stretcher, and then using ropes they lowered him through the hole in the roof and set him down right at the feet of Jesus.
Imagine the surprised and then amused look on Jesus’ face as bits of debris were falling all around him, and then He sees this stretcher being lowered down from the ceiling. And now, here’s this paralyzed man laying at His feet waiting to be healed. Well, Jesus did heal him, and He forgave the man his sins as well. And, according to verse 20, He did it not because of the faith of the paralyzed man but because of the great faith demonstrated by his friends, “Seeing their faith he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” And (verse 24) “I tell you: Get up, take your stretcher, and go home.”
I read a great statement the other day from a person who was describing one of the deepest, darkest periods of life that she and her family ever had to go through. She said that during that time her church family rallied around them with love, support, and help. With prayers, meals, money, help with daily tasks, and much more, their church family carried them through their ordeal. Her statement was, “I was hurting badly but I was being loved deeply.” Her friends had essentially been stretcher bearers for her and her family. They carried them through their time of difficulty.
That is an essential element of healthy church life and it’s one of the things I love the most about Oak Hill Baptist. We are stretcher bears for each other. As a group we come around the hurting one, we each pick up an end of the stretcher, and together we help to carry our hurting brother or sister through their dark and difficult season of life.
Are you a stretcher bearer? I hope you are. And are you in a church filled with people who are stretcher bears? I hope so because I promise you, the time will come when you will need to be carried. Nobody gets through life without going through deep valleys, and everyone needs help sometimes.
Be a stretcher bearer. Be one of those who can be counted on to be there, to grab an end, and to help carry someone else through a difficult time in life.
God bless,
Pastor Jim
(Join us at Oak Hill Baptist Church every Sunday at 10:00. Join us in-person if you are nearby or, if you are geographically distant or if you are a shut-in, join us online at
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