Sunday, October 13, 2019

Clean Mind Clean Body - Take Your Pick?

Many years ago there was a joke going around - "clean mind - clean body - take your pick" - the implication that either your thoughts - speech  could be nice and your body would be vile - nasty or just the opposite.  The reality - you can have both - it is not an either - or - option.  In today's scripture the focus seems to be almost completely on a clean body - that is being cleansed from leprosy - either by bathing in water or through the words of Jesus.  Leprosy was a disease without a cure in the time of Jesus - a disease which could be easily passed from one person to another - thus the need to separate those afflicted with the disease from the remaining community.  It was feared so much that an infected person - when out walking - had to shout "unclean unclean" to warn anyone nearby to pass on the other side - to avoid contamination. Although disease ridden - one could still be a very faithful person - unfortunately cursed by separation from others.  That meant no contact with family - friends - anyone - condemned to isolation from loved ones - unable to earn a living - dependent on the generosity of others.

Today people in the same situation no longer condemned to isolation. Now with better healthcare and information - the need to be isolated no longer necessary.  Today the issue is not coping with a skin - body issue - rather the mistaken idea that one has to be clean - physically - morally - spiritually - before God will welcome you into His home.  The truth is that God - Jesus welcomes you - just as you are - just where you are.  You do not have to wash your face - clean your mind - or anything.  All one needs is to be open and approach Jesus with an expectant heart.  Clean - dirty - Jesus stands there - arms outstretched - waiting for you to come to Him.  Once you ask Jesus into your heart - you will be changed - your life will change - anything that needs improving will get better.  Clean mind - clean body - you will have both.  Jesus stands waiting...

Deacon Dale