"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

“Of Water, Born” – Friday, March 12, 2021

St. Helen’s Daily Lenten Devotional

“A leper came to Jesus begging him, and kneeling, he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.”  Mark 1:40 If you choose

Every day, perhaps every minute of every day; change is the only constant in the human condition. From the moment we come to consciousness in the morning, there are choices to be made, decisions are required at every turn, and every one has consequences…what to wear, what needs to be on the daily agenda, what to defrost for supper. And there are more significant choices to make, over time; life choices focussed on relationships, families, leisure and work opportunities. We also make multiple personal decisions about behaviour, habits, attitudes and how we spend our time and money. And integrated with all those things is our spiritual journey.

“A leper came to Jesus…” The leper chose to come to Jesus.  Maybe he saw Him as his last chance, we don’t know. Leprosy in biblical times, was not, apparently, Hansen’s disease, that affliction of the skin and nerves that is named leprosy today. The reference is to any skin disease. Now look at a pharmacy shelf and note how many creams and oils are available over the counter to treat rashes or dry skin or any of the other troubles that affect our largest organ! 

The leper was unclean…which meant in a real sense ‘unholy’, he was an outcast of society,  and his approach to the Rabbi was way, way out of line. And yet he dared to plead “If you choose, you can make me clean”.  And Jesus, moved with pity(although interestingly enough some scholars say the word is closer to anger, Jesus, moved with anger)…stretched out his hand and touched him. And he was healed, whole, holy. Are we surprised? No, I don’t think so…not nearly as surprised as those there that day! For we know, through the eyes of faith and our post Easter perspective, that is what God desires for all of his children: health and wholeness in body, mind and spirit.

The power in Christ that heals and makes whole also transforms. It can transform us as individuals and it change a community;  building it up, moving it one step closer to God’s Kingdom, realized here on earth, as we make our choice,  to follow Jesus wherever the road may lead. If we so choose…