Enabling good health is a community restoration project. It’s really not about prescription plans, copayments, individual deductions, out-of-pocket expenses, or any other cost-benefit analysis. It’s about community. When people are sick or hurt, they usually don’t feel like getting out much and, depending on their illness or injury, they sometimes can’t (think contagious). This means they are hostages to separation, whether confined to their home, sequestered in facilities, or shunned by family and friends. The greatest gift Jesus offers people through his healing is restoration to community.
Mark tells us in a few swift verses, without enumerating their ailments, “all . . . were healed.” He does not record that those with full coverage were healed, those who qualify for Medicaid were healed, those who receive Medicare were healed. Just all. Such healing restores them to the touch of a loved one, the rapport of friends, and the company of neighbors. Today these illnesses of isolation have names like cancer, diabetes, kidney failure, heart disease. Some of them could be treated early or prevented altogether with access to preventative care. Other ailments and injuries can be treated, restoring people to community. All deserve access to healing services.
Jesus used the means at his disposal to restore people to community. We can do no less. We must use the means available to us as followers of Christ, and when those channels do not flow freely, we must unstop the dam. Human dignity requires the option to be made well, to be healed. Individual healing leads to communal wholeness.

Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour, for the facing of this hour. (UMH, no. 577)

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

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Lectionary Week
July 16–22, 2018
Scripture Overview

David was God’s anointed king over Israel. He believed God desired a house, a Temple worthy of God. But God wanted David to understand that only God can build things that truly last. Thus, God promised to construct a dynasty from David’s family. From this line will eventually come the ultimate King, the Messiah, who will rule God’s people forever. The Messiah will complete God’s work of uniting all people as children of God, and the author of Ephesians declares that this has happened through Christ. All God’s people—Jew and Gentile—are now part of a holy, spiritual temple. In Mark, Jesus shows that part of being a great king is showing compassion. He puts aside his own desires to help those in need of guidance and healing.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read 2 Samuel 7:1-14a. Do you prefer stability or flexibility? What are the advantages of each?
• Read Psalm 89:20-37. What has been your experience with organizations or churches that are leader-dependent?
• Read Ephesians 2:11-22. When have you found yourself employing binary thinking: black and white with no shades of gray? How has that limited your focus?
• Read Mark 6:30-34, 53-56. When have you had an experience of illness or accident that left you isolated from community? How did that increase your awareness of others in that situation as you moved to health?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.