Monday, 5 March 2012

Monday - Lent 2

Happy Lent 2.    What are you doing today?    Monday over here is chore day.  Hurrah.  Old Son back to University and Husband back to pushing paperwork in preparation for some travelling days.  Between Husband and I,  we will get the Monday laundry completed.  Bonus is Tai Chi to exercise the body (creak, creak) and standing in the Bank line-up (while saying Prayers) and practicing the new hymns for Sunday.  
This weekend I got a bit completed on a Cathedral Window I've been working on for the last three years.  The project is called "when life gets tough" quilt project.  Handsewing Cathedral Window quilt is fascinating to see how the "windows" are created.  And handsewing is also awesome to be able to sit and sew.  Aaaaah,  comfort.  The funny thing is I am at the stage where I need to sew some more background squares and I can't remember what size are the original squares.  Hummm. 

O God of tenderness and compassion,  O Master slow to anger and full of love and full of truth,  turn towards us and have compassion.    This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read:  St. Matthew 8: 1 – 4

In these next two chapters,  Matthew writes of the miracles performed by Jesus.  These two chapters are important as the stories continue to show the disciples and the crowd (and us)  of the authority of Jesus. 

It is also important to understand why verse 1 says, “And he came down from the mountainside…”     The teaching had been concluded for now.  And now it was time for life examples of Jesus’ teaching.

Lepers.    A leper comes up to Jesus and says, “Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean”.    Jesus touches the man and says, “I am willing!  Be clean!”     Eeeew,  Jesus touched a leper and by doing so made himself unclean.  Why would Jesus touch a leper and not only become ceremonial unclean but risk contacting leprosy.     One word:   Compassion.    Then Jesus says to the cleansed man to go directly to the Priest to show himself and to give  offerings.  While Jesus cleansed the man,  only the Priest could pronounce the man “cured” and bring him back into the community.      In the Torah,  there are two chapters on how Priests must deal with leprosy.     While people who had leprosy were considered unclean and kept out of the community,   Leviticus is actually very compassionate about the care of lepers.    See  Leviticus 13 – 14. 

Jesus not only cleansed  the man physically but also cleansed the man inwardly so that he could  be part of his family again.    

Frequently we look at the word “leper” and think not only of the disease but also of those in our community who are marginalized…. who are put outside the community.  Keep in your prayers today all those who are living on the outside of our community that they may be healed and fully accepted as brothers and sisters in Christ. 

O God of tenderness and compassion,  instil in our hearts this day a compassion for those who live outside the community.    Give strength to Your servant so that we can be Your compassion for these people.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen

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