Readings for February 14, 2021
Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46
Psalm 32:1-2, 5-11
1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1
In an almost unthinkable dissent of the Law of Moses, Jesus reached out and touched a leper. He did so because he was “moved with pity,” a loving compassion for the suffering of another. The man with Leprosy was desperate and alone, set apart, forced to live “outside the camp” because of a feared, highly contagious disease. In an early form of contact tracing, when he approached or came near others he was to call out “unclean!’ so that others could avoid contact with him.
In the past year, we’ve seen a lot of what it means to be kept separated from others for fear of a highly contagious disease. But I wonder how much we’ve learned about pity? Looking around, it feels like very little. Fear reigns, isolating us from each other and seizing our hearts to drive out pity. Now, it feels that too often, rather than practicing compassion, we have turned against one another.
But when I turn toward fear, I have turned the wrong way. I need instead to turn to Jesus, my Savior and Messiah. I must beg for his mercy, his healing, and his compassion; and then I must live in that same manner. His healing is not done for me to brag selfishly of the gifts given to me, but to give glory to God and to share his compassion with others. Fear leaves no room for pity and pity never acts in fear. In an almost unthinkable dissent of fear, I turn to Christ. Doing so, I must be moved with pity in order to be healed and made clean.
Jesus, if I am not moved with pity then I am stuck in fear. If it is your will to do so, heal me and make me clean. Drive out my fear and sense of isolation that I, too, may have compassion for others. Jesus, have pity on me. Jesus, have mercy on me. Amen