Jefferson weakly review 4
Sunday, October 13, 2019
Part of me was puzzled at all the references this week on lepers, I'm meaning for the daily lectionary readings and the upcoming Sunday worship readings. But then I realized that in many ways if we think of lepers as "The Untouchables", it makes more sense.
I'm not speaking of a group of agents trying to bust Al Capone in Chicago. I'm talking about the caste members in India, or the aliens-immigrants-refugees in America. I'm talking about we who are broken physically, emotionally, financially, and other ways as well. We are not the pretty folks. We are like Jesus though before his death and rising from the dead, who was said to be not worth a second look back in his day.
All week I've been hurting from walking, from riding my bike (first time in years), from endless chores and things to fix. My pain levels are through the roof often. When I've spoken to some folks this week, it was as if I was speaking a foreign language because no one could grasp what I was saying apparently. I've mentioned it before online as discovering that I, Gregory, actually do appear to speak Gregorian. It isn't what I'm saying, it is what others hear when I speak. So to speak it is the opposite of speaking in tongues. I speak intelligibly but it is received as gibberish.
I wish I was able to be understood as well as the Gregorian chants, that would mean perhaps 20% of church-goers might have a clue. So physically, financially, emotionally I have felt quite alienated, and that is not a good thing. In a world featuring options for good--better--best, this is being diminutive scribbled in cursive on the back of the options page.
Jesus healed 10 lepers once, and 1 returned to rejoice and worship at Jesus' feet. That man had at least three strikes against him before this moment: one- he was poor, two- he was a Samaritan, three- he had leprosy. The other lepers were self-righteous Jews apparently, they got theirs and they were off and running.
So those of us who are at the bottom of the caste system of our respective cultures and sub-cultures can take heart. It was found by this leper, and by Naaman the OT Commander of Evil Empire Armies as well: the alien and stranger in the land were truly worshiping the real God while the oblivious Religious establishment cruised along on the highway to hell, being rebels without a cause or a clue.
God uses weak and despised things to his own glory, shaming that which elevates itself and glories in its own wisdom. So, to whom do you run to and worship when it gets down to the nitty-gritty? What is your first response to being at least momentarily relieved of obstacles in your way? If it is to prostrate oneself before God than our true nature is exhibited. God doesn't make sure nor does God reveal: 1) that his children are wealthy in this life, 2) that we are to use people and love commodities to get gain for ourselves, 3) that we shall prosper in all we do in this life, nor 4) that those with enough faith never suffer. Those who teach such things as if true are out of touch with God and reality. It doesn't matter if it sounds pretty or we want it to be true. It doesn't matter if we like those attractive people who say such things. No, they are teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. They turn away from the truth and turn towards the commandments of men, fables, myths and try to sell others into investing in that as well.
We who are weak and despised, knowing God is our wealth and we comfort others with the comfort by which God has comforted us even in our poverty. We know God is only delaying the massive Remodeling of the Kosmos so as to have pity on those who he knows are still to become his children by faith in Christ. Once that time is over, history is over and Eternity begins. Then we experience life as God designed. Only then.
So if you've found healing, run to Jesus for worship. If you find yourself alienated and suffering abuse in a strange land, take heart; Jesus knew that too so run to him and worship. Don't worry about what the frauds teach, what the rich say about themselves. Pray for them, but keep to the truth. Pray for others even if they believe you are the enemy. Stand tall as you continue taking steps towards real health.
You are not alone, there are more than a few of us out here. Our goal is the walk humbly along the right path. You can do it, and pray for the rest of us that we keep walking. Perhaps others will ask, even at church, and we can tell them about the reason for the hope that is within us.