Week 4: Renewing
Day 2: Love for the least
by Jenny Jaroneski

Mark 1:40-42 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”  Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.
In today’s time, quarantine has become a hot button word. Isolation and separation is something new that we have experienced. In the Bible, quarantine was standard practice for those suffering from Leprosy. Leprosy was seen as a disease of the poor, the unclean and the sinful for disobeying the rules set forth in the Old Testament of the Bible.  Lepers were considered the least of society and not permitted to come within six feet of another human. Sounds pretty familiar, right?
In a way, we are all lepers in that we are all sinners. The miraculous thing is that there is a cure! In Mark 1:40-42 a leper comes to Jesus begging to be healed and Jesus does so – reaching out and touching the man who should not be so close (based on social distancing guidelines). Jesus cared about the leper and wanted him to be free from his suffering.
Just like the leper was healed of his illness, there is healing for our sinfulness as well. When we plead for cleansing and forgiveness, Jesus does not shy away from us.  He is willing! He comes forward and touches us. He heals us. He forgives us. We are the least. Jesus loves us and heals us just as He did the leper.

Lord, you are a loving and compassionate God. I am human. I am sinful. I am the least. Thank You for the gift of forgiveness through Your son, Jesus Christ. Help me to remember Your willing gift of healing. Help me to share Your love, compassion and forgiveness with others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

How would the love of Jesus move you to break norms for the sake of another?  Not proving a point, not to stick it to the man (who is that guy anyway?), only for the sake of another?