Pause

The apostle Paul wrote this in the book of Romans: "It appears to me that whatever we suffer now will show up only dimly when compared to the wonders God has in store for us. It is as though all creation is standing on tiptoe longing to see an unforgettable vision, the children of God being born into wholeness" (paraphrase by Macrina Wiederkehr, Seasons of the Heart).

This serves as a reminder that God is at work, even now, bringing healing to the world — for all of us. Consider now the ways that healing might have already started all around you.

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Listen

A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, saying to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.

Mark 1:40-45

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Think

Desperate for help, the leper begs Jesus to heal him. “If you will, you can cleanse me.” He believes Jesus has the power to make him well. Jesus doesn’t mock the man’s begging, but instead has pity on him. “I will. Be clean.”

Healing grace for the leper is good news for all of us. God can heal. Jesus’ compassionate touch is a courageous gesture that anyone who feels outcast can appreciate. To touch someone with a contagious skin disease is an act of kindness that brings another kind of healing, the kind you feel in your soul.

Then Jesus sends the man to show himself to the priest and to make an offering at the temple. This act will restore him to his community. He won’t be a social outcast any longer. Jesus seeks to heal this man physically, spiritually, and socially. In God’s own image, he is restored to wholeness.

Valerie Burton

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Pray

God whose hands moved across the deep and created all things,
blow your healing winds into my life and soul, that I might be re-created, whole, and complete. Amen.

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Go

Paul also wrote this (in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10): "...but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.' So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong."

Go now confident even in your weakness, in your sorrow, in your shortcomings, knowing that even in the middle of it all, Christ remains powerful within you.

Valerie Burton

Valerie Burton lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband, Allan, their sons, Carter and Marshall, and dog, Byrd. She is the minister for Christian formation at Baptist Church of the Covenant. Life is good when there is coffee and a fire in the fireplace.

O Love How Deep

Nathan Hanson

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