Mark 1:40 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.
This is the sort of thing that drove the Pharisees crazy when it came to Jesus. On the one hand the power for healing demonstrated here could only come from God. On the other hand Jesus defied the rules which stipulated no righteous Jew could touch an unclean person with leprosy.
Jesus was a walking contradiction.
Today is Maundy Thursday in the Christian calendar. Tonight the congregation I lead will gather virtually to worship and to remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. We would normally gather in the church sanctuary, but that is obviously not possible right now. So instead of having congregation members come to the altar where I would normally preside over the eucharist, we will invite people to commune themselves wherever they are.
There are some people in my denomination who are strongly opposed to this practice, which defies convention. And under normal circumstances we would expect people to come to the church for communion, but crisis has pushed us to rethink how we do many things including the sharing of communion.
Our passage for today reminds me that Jesus too was roundly criticized for doing things the wrong way. I guess that means we’re in good company when we defy convention – and bless people at the same time! If you’re reading this on Thursday I hope you’ll plan to join us for our Facebook livestream at 7pm.
And don’t forget your bread and wine/juice!