Inclusive Christ…. pondering Mark 1: 35-47

he touched me,

reached out

breaking

all boundaries

and conventions,

he touched me,

he touched me

and with the shock

of life against life

healing began

to flow

and I was clean…

his touch healed me

body,

heart and soul,

he could have

 spoken healing,

but

he touched me,

he took

my outstretched hand

and in that touch

affirmed

my hopes and dreams,

the possibilities of life

for me…

he touched me

and I am whole again…

 

Hand reaching out to another

photo by Dave Perry

I was pondering my daily devotions, reading Mark 1: 35-47,  struck by the power of touch, and the simple action of reaching out to another has really struck me, especially when the “other” one is one we would normally shun or stay away from. Although we may not like to admit it if we are honest, really honest we all do that to some folk to some extent!

Jesus broke down boundaries when he reached out and touched the leper, he broke through convention and showed not only love but grace and mercy, generosity and kindness. There was a school of thinking that declared that lepers and folk with other diseases must have brought this sickness upon themselves, and therefore they were looked down upon and excluded for more than their outward condition. As I have been pondering this I am aware that there is a tendency for this to happen today with those who find themselves marginalised by unemployment, disability, poverty, sexuality, gender , and in some cases just by being different from ourselves….

I wonder if we are aware that our exclsivity actually marginalises us from God’s grace, if we refuse to give and to share then how can we receive? If we refuse to reach out do we close ourselves off? In a week where the news if full of violence, the atrocities in Orlando, the football hooliganism and sectarianism , and still people drwon trying to reach the relative safety of Europe!

Or how about something more insidious than that, how about the times when we have felt good about reaching out, but have done so only to draw others in that they might be like us! If we are really to be those who dare to reach out and to touch we must be aware that we will find ourselves enlarged and even shocked by grace meeting grace, therefore changed in the process.

On another level I wonder if some of our tendency to be closed off stems from the fact that  we are sometimes ( and maybe more often than we would like to admit) closed off from ourselves, at least in part. There are parts of our lives that we deem untouchable, and even unreachable, and while we know that this is nonsense the pain of reaching out to those parts of our lives is too much for us to bear. The truth is that the same Jesus who reached out and touched the leper invites us  to cry out to him today; “If you want to, you can make me clean!” And he wants to, are we brave enough to be healed?

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About Sally C

How do I describe myself, I am not what I do, (I am a Methodist Minister), I am not who I am related to (I have 5 wonderful children, and 2 lovely granddaughters). I am a seeker truth, a partaker of life in all it's fullness and a follower, sometimes stumbling, sometimes celebrating of the Christian pathway. I seek wholeness, joy and a connectedness to all things through a deep reconciliation with the God whose love blows my socks off!
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