Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Who it lets in

Reading this morning from Rachel Held Evans' book, Inspired.

Think about the trifecta of stories in the Gospel of Mark:
  • In chapter 1, Jesus heals a leper by touching him.
  • In chapter 5, a woman who is bleeding touches Jesus and is healed.
  • The story in Chapter 5 is interwoven with the story about Jarius. Jesus goes to his home and brings his dead daughter back to life by touching her.
All three - the leper, the bleeding woman, and the dead little girl are untouchable.  And yet Jesus touches them.  He didn't have to.  Do you believe he could have healed them without touching them? I do. But the touch was part of the healing. The touch changes them from untouchable to part of the society again.

In speaking about these miracles in The Meaning in the Miracles, Jeffrey John says what is more relevant to us is that "...the miracles universal significance; the overturning of social and religious barriers; the abolition of taboos; and Jesus' declaration of God' love and compassion for everyone, expressed in the systemic inclusion of each class of previously excluded or marginalized.

Who in your neighborhood is marginalized? Who is untouchable? Who needs to be returned to the community, even though they are physically present? And what can you do about it as you act as the hands and feet of Christ?

Evans goes on to write, "The apostles remembered what many modern Christians tend to forget-- that what makes the gospel offensive isn't who it keeps out but who it lets in."

Do we remember that?

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