Let Us Pray
Gracious God, source of all goodness, source of love, we come to be accountable to you and our neighbor. We come to grow, to be better citizens of this world and the Kingdom. The way is not easy, God. The pains and burdens of life weigh on us. We struggle with brokenness on our hearts as well as brokenness that manifests itself in the way that others treat us. We mourn for the brokenness of the planet. We are wounded, and we lash out in the same way. Forgive us these sins; forgive us in how we have not acted among our broken brothers and sisters. Hear our prayers. We lift all of the concerns we’ve named here and on our hearts; empower us for your Kingdom.Holy God, we most of all come to love, in all the forms that takes. We come to love you, our neighbors, and ourselves in a way that most benefits the name and responsibilities of our Christian name. May we continually think of love as something tangible, love that can be seen and heard. May our love be like your love to us as seen in Jesus. Help us to learn the hard but necessary lesson of your unconditional love. We seek to be fully like Jesus, as difficult as this is for us finite creatures. We pray all these things in the name of the one who taught us what love is, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Today as we celebrate Valentine’s day we are blessed to have a reminder of what this day is really about. God is first and foremost love. The desire of God over our lives to ultimately experience His love in all that we experience and in our relationship with others. To know God’s love, to live it and share it.
Today’s message is a call to a commitment to Justice, to speaking the truth of love to power. We learn that the condition of our sister and brother demands a response to love. We are called to be Ambassadors of the word, in speaking and claiming God’s word over our lives. We see today that the law required the leper to pronounce himself unclean and to remove himself in isolation from others. This was to prevent the spread of leprosy. The unclean were shunned , disregarded and consider a danger to be avoided.
Jesus breaks all the norms and allows a leper to approach Him and asks His will over the Lepers life. In this act of great love Jesus disrupts the order in His society look at what Jesus does.
“Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched him, and said to him,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
This act of unconditional love is one that not only heals the leper but makes him whole. Jesus places him back into right relationship. He removes the stigma that separates. The leper is no longer left on the periphery but rather he is restored. Jesus steps out to the peripheries to encounter a man in great suffering. Jesus reaches out and touches him, and speaks the most loving words over His life. His will is for him to be made clean.
So many have been left out in our society today. The pandemic and the fear of it has separated and distanced us from one another. Many are left to the fear of isolation. Like Jesus we must meet others where they are and not turn our backs and distance them. So many are hurting, frustrated and angry because they don’t have access to healing. We step up like Jesus and encounter them and their suffering and pain along with their peripheral position is transformed.
In the midst of this pandemic many don’t have access to vaccines, or are afraid of vaccines or people simple see themselves on the outside unable to take their rightful place.
Our willingness to provide vaccines for this community so often forgotten is a direct response to God’s call to love. In the loving response we speak God’s will over those who live in fear and despair. You do matter, we love you and desire that you too experience the healing power of Jesus. This Valentine’s day let our love be not only shown to those we feel love for, but to unconditionally love all in our human family who need to experience God’s great loving will over their lives