Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Jesus Didn't Heal Everyone...

I had an insight the other day about the healings of Jesus. Obviously, Jesus didn't heal every sick or dying person he encountered. He could have, of course, but he didn't. But I think I noticed a small common thread in the healings he did perform. Many of them were for people who were or would be marginalized by their illnesses. Lepers, the woman with the flow of blood, the widow whose son had died. These were people, who because of their illnesses, were actually prevented from taking part in public worship and who were kept on the margins of normal society. They were considered unclean. It would seem that Jesus was very concerned about restoring persons to society, but not merely society at large, the worshipping society, especially.

This would also seem to be the case with public sinners, the tax collectors, the publicans, the prostitutes. By forgiving their sins, by enabling them to repent and be forgiven, they could then so change their lives as to be reintegrated into public worship.

I think this is very important to consider. God commands us to worship him in community, he doesn't want anyone to be excluded, but many are, because of sin and because of other impediments. The physical impediments, while sometimes still causing marginalization, are also symbols of the greater impediment which is sin.

The goal for the Father is, through Jesus, to free everyone (who accepts it) from any impediment that prevents inclusion in the "public" worship of eternity, beginning here in our earthly liturgy which mirrors the eternal liturgy in heaven.

This must have an impact on how we view the marginalized in our society, locally and globally. It must have an impact on how we view our own sins and other impediments to "public worship."

This must, above all, perhaps, have an impact on just how important God regards the command and the freedom to participate in public worship.

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