Bible Readings and Devotion for June 16, 2020
image – NASA – Credits: Image Credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for June 16, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Due to our sin or simply fear we have placed barriers between ourselves and others. Whether overt or subconscious, we have separated ourselves from others. These could be due to language, ethnicity, disease, culture, geography, wealth, skin tone or any number of other points of division. This has not made the world a better place. Some divisions may have made life simpler for one person or another, but that is all.
Jesus was one to break barriers between people. In our reading today from Mark we hear about the healing of leprous man. We read in verses 40-42 the following, “A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.”
Jesus crossed a barrier to bring life to this man. The barrier he crossed was that of a disease, namely leprosy. Those who suffered from this disease were generally kept away from all other people. This was, in part, to prevent the spread of the illness. Sadly, it became a barrier which helped other to dismiss the true humanity and God given value of those who suffered. Our Lord, who is also creator, was willing to touch the untouchable so that this man could receive love and healing.
St. Paul picks up on this general idea when teaching about our unity in Jesus. In Galatians 3:27-28 he writes, “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” When we are united in Jesus, these divisions are broken down. What we rely upon to keep others at a distance is what God reconciles. If we are followers of Jesus, then we use God’s love and power to reach out across barriers which human sin and fear have established.
Something for each of us to ponder for our lives today is this: What barriers between you and others have you been able to overcome in your life? What barriers have been hard to cross to share God’s love with the neighbor in your life? What sins are you in need of confessing which have placed barriers between you and others?
Almighty God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to reconcile the world to yourself. We praise and bless you for those whom you have sent in the power of the Spirit to preach the gospel to all nations. We thank you that in all parts of the earth a community of love has been gathered together by their prayers and labors, and that in every place your servants call upon your name; for the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever. Amen.
Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.