“A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, saying to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.” - Mark 1:40-45
There are so many layers to the story of Jesus healing the Leper, but I think it is important that we hear this, “I choose you.” Do you see? “A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, ‘If you choose, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I do choose. Be made clean!’” Jesus chooses the Leper. He chooses to heal him, to touch him, to accept him exactly for who he is. God knows us to be perfect exactly as we are created. No matter our age or the way we look or who likes us and who doesn’t. There is nothing that comes between us and God, and God’s willingness to meet us right where we are. God continually chooses us over and over again and that is good news. Even with all our perceived faults, God chooses us, arm stretched out reaching. Upon seeing us exactly as we are, God reaches a hand out to us with full acceptance of exactly who we are. Now that’s love.
You are chosen, just as you are, loved uniquely for who you are, healed and made whole.*****
Heather Tolleson serves as minister of First Christian Church in Katy, Texas. She has also served as Regional Staff for Youth and Children's Ministries in Arizona. She studied at Texas Christian University and completed her M.Div at Brite Divinity School. *****
Our 2016 prayer vigil theme is Helping Our Children Heal from Violence. For more resources visit disciplesjustice4children.org and docfamiliesandchildren.org.