February 06, 2006

Looking Ahead to February 12, 6th Sunday After Epiphany

The Readings for February 12 are (click here to read them)
  • 2 Kings 5:1-14
  • Psalm 30
  • Mark 1:40-45

The hymns will be:

  • 312 Praise with Joy the World's Creator
  • 679 Let There Be Light
  • 593 Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love
  • 427 To Show by Touch and Word

In honour of the beginning of the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy the Children's story will be Olympic Peace.

The Sermon title is The Cost of Healing. Some early thoughts:

I am thinking that one of the most important parts of the Gospel story is the end, the part where we are told that Jesus couldn't go into towns anymore because the leper didn't keep his healing a secret. I have heard many people explain this as being due to the crowds that then surrounded Jesus wherever he went. But I have always read it differently.
Ritual purity plays a major role in Biblical Judaism (see Leviticus and all the laws that make up the purity code) Within that tradition, to touch something or someone who was unclean/impure would then render you ritually unclean. Mark tells us that in healing the leper Jesus touches him (which is a common part of most healing stories) this would mean that Jesus is now unclean. By choosing to restore the outcast to community he has become outcast.
If we as Christians are called to restore the outcasts to community, to bring healing into troubled relationships and societies, then we have to be willing to pay the cost. We have to risk being seen as unclean. When we think about those who are untouchable, where do we put ourselves?

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