Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
HEALING OF BODY, MIND, AND SPIRIT – MEDICAL MISSION SUNDAYMark 5:25-34
“If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” V. 28
“Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease.” V. 34
The healing of His seamless dress Is by our beds of pain; We touch Him in life’s throng and press, and we are whole again. “Our Master,” John Greenleaf Whittier.
Healing is not something related only to the body of a person but real healing means wholeness. Today’s portion ends with Jesus’ command to the woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages to “go in shalom,” which encompasses not only physical healing but holistic healing. Going in peace means to go as one restored to a proper relationship with God and with others. This story is sandwiched with the story of the Jairus daughter’s restoration into life. Both stories involve women, “daughters,” beyond all apparent human help, one twelve years old and the other had suffered for twelve years, who come into defiling contact with Jesus. Yet the thrust of each story is faith.
She Turns her Test into Testimony- The woman is presented without a name; we don’t know where she came from. She’s anonymous; another face in the crowd. The only thing we do know is that she is sick, desperate, and in need. She’s spent all she had: time, money, energy. This woman appeared beyond all hope and help. She is ritually impure. She was not only defiled, but she also defiled anything and anyone she touched. Her illness had left her personally, socially, and spiritually ostracized. Even in her desperate situation, she expressed her faith in Jesus and his authority over life and healing. She was reintegrated into the life of the community through Jesus’ blessing, “Go in peace (shalom),” “and be healed of your disease.” She made her frantic situation an occasion to testify Jesus.
Healing through the Divine Touch - Jesus publicly affirms that the woman with hemorrhages touched him. Jesus challenges the ostracization of human-based on purity/pollution/gender concept. According to the law, Jesus should have contracted the contamination or impurity; instead, the text clearly says that the woman becomes clean. Jesus’ healing power overrode the defiling condition of the woman with hemorrhages. When uncleanliness touches cleanliness, the clean thing becomes dirty. But in this new kingdom calculus, Jesus continues to be pure and the impure also becomes pure. Jesus was ready to become out of his comfort zone for the restoration of the other. Healing happens through touch. The gospels are full of stories about Jesus touching others and being touched by others. There is a divine touch that has the power to affirm and give life, to heal and make well. But there is also a touch that has the power to destroy and take life. It’s the touch that violates the body and crushes human dignity. It’s the touch of abuse, neglect, violence, poverty, racism. But Jesus' touch gives wholeness and restoration. Our sense of touch connects us to the world in an intimate way. Touch is an act of compassion and of recognition of their shared humanity. The need of our day is the ability and willingness to touch. Are you daring enough to touch?
Gracious God challenges us with your touch and enriches us with your grace so that we may be restored and be daring enough to touch. Amen.
Thought for the Day
To be untouched is to disappear. When I don’t get touched, when I’m not connected, I disappear, I’m lost. And when I refuse to touch another, I impose that lostness and disappearance on them. David Whyte
Rev Manu Varghese
Mar Thoma Church of Greater Seattle