Restoring Community, June 27.2012

Matthew 5:25-28 
Now there was a woman who had been suffering
from hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had endured much under many physicians,
and had spent all that she had;
and she was no better, but rather grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus,
and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,
for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.”
Imagine this woman, this unclean and bloody woman, holding in her hands all of humanity‘s brokenness, every illness and every broken heart and broken relationship. Imagine her as the vessel that carries everything that fills the world with fear. The fear of the unknown and the stranger, the bloody and hateful and broken, all of it. Imagine this woman carrying the hurt of the world for years, generations even. Imagine that she has walked the earth searching for healing, hoping to find a path to wholeness, to peace, praying for something… anything to mend this torn, battered and bleeding world.

Then the woman hears of a force of healing so powerful it works on the sabbath and challenges all the rules that have drawn boundaries between the beautiful and the broken, the chosen and the outcast, the clean and unclean, the one who belongs and the stranger. It’s a force so strong that it moves among people breathing new life, healing and wholeness where there was once only sickness and death.

The woman crosses all the boundaries of propriety and decency to reach the one who has this holy power of healing. She reaches across the boundaries of fear and distrust, hatred and humiliation, across the broken community and touches the cloak of the one who will heal the world. She risks everything but she’s carried the pain long enough. The power of Jesus to heal the world moves into her body and there is restoration. Can you imagine this story big enough to hold the whole world? To heal the whole world?

Debra Dean Murphy writes on the Ekklesia Project’s Blog that “we are conditioned in our culture to think of healing as first of all a highly individualized, exclusively physiological event. But Scripture is quite clear that healing has to do with the mending of all creation, and that curing the sick has to do primarily with restoring a person to his or her community.” When you hear this story of the hemorrhaging woman do think wow, Jesus really helped that woman over there? Or do you understand that your own healing, your own restoration is tied up in hers?

We often divide our word into categories, insiders and outsiders, healthy and sick, abled and disabled. How are we restored to the community? How do we aid in the restoration of all people? Are we willing to cross borders and boundaries and break commonly held rules to do so?

May you be held in the arms of the one who seeks restoration,
May your own healing be woven together in the healing of the whole world,
May Christ continue to move and breathe,
teach and heal us as we move together towards wholeness.



Musical Meditation
Michael Jackson
Heal The World