‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ (Matthew 8:1-4)
For me, these are some of the most poignant words in all of scripture. They were spoken by a man who was known, not by his name, but by his disease–leprosy. His disease defined him and divided him from his community. This Sunday we look at the final piece of our church’s mission statement–coming alive in Christ–and this story is particularly relevant because in Jesus’ day, people who contracted leprosy were considered spiritually dead. Lepers were the original walking dead. They still existed, but they could never belong. Once you were identified as a leper–that was it. You could never come back.
This man knew that Jesus could change his life, but he wondered if he would. Many of us are living this story. We know Jesus is able, but we too wonder if he is willing.
Friends–I hope you’ll join me as we consider what it means for us that Jesus is still able, and still willing to heal and restore the walking dead to life and community. What does it mean to be a community that doesn’t just read that story–but lives it? What does it mean for us to join our brother, the no-longer-leper, walking in new life in Christ?