Mark 1: 40 – 45     Healing the Leper

We know better today. Leprosy is not contagious. Nor is it deadly. But back in the day, leprosy was considered a nasty, life threatening contagious disease. Lepers were to be avoided at all costs. They were to be locked away in a gated colony. It’s about designating certain people as unacceptable. Who’s in and who’s out.

Today, we have lots of leprosy tests. We’ve just changed the name. We call them litmus tests

There are the biggies that churches and politicians love to argue over: evolution and creationism, gay and straight,  liberal and conservative, sprinkling and immersion, infant and believer, Muslim and Christian, non-violence or violence. Who is in and who is out. Who is on the right side and who is on the wrong side. Who is an enemy and who is a friend. Who is a true believer and who is a heretic. Who is a leper and who is clean.

It seems the human race, down through history, is addicted to creating us and them. Two sides. Two peoples.

Whereas Jesus is about creating one big us.

This we all know, Jesus says love the outsider. Even if leprous. Even if we think the outcast will kill us by disease or violence.                                                                                                           The discipleship is to love those who have been cast away.