Going to church is hard, especially when you’ve got something on your conscience. This week’s first reading got me thinking more about this.
It talks about the rules during Moses’s time. If a person had a sore on their head, they were to be brought to Moses or Aaron. If it was decided that the person had leprosy the verse says:
“As long as the sore is on him he shall declare himself unclean, since he is in fact unclean. He shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp.” (Leviticus 13:46)
How many times do we declare ourselves unclean and make our abode “outside the camp?” We avoid church because we have a strong sense of our sickness, our sin, and we feel too unclean to enter.
But what did Jesus do with the lepers he met in the Bible? He walked right up to them.
He didn’t tell them to go away and come back when they were heaeld.
Jesus healed them.
That’s what he wants to do for us. He’s not saying to stay outside the camp until we get our life together and feel good about ourselves and our choices. He’s saying, “Come to me, and I’ll heal you.”
Maybe he’ll do it with mud or tell us to pick up our mat. Maybe he’ll lay his hands on us. It could even feel worse before it gets better, but still he tells us to come. He has what we need, and we don’t have to be perfect to get it.