|Theme:||When you have nowhere to turn, turn to Jesus. 6th Sunday after Epiphany Yr. B|
|Object:||A bottle of calamine lotion|
|Scripture:||A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean." Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. Mark 1:40-42|
Do you know what this is? It is a bottle of medicine called calamine lotion. Calamine is a medicine that is sometimes used to help stop itching. Have you have ever had the chicken pox? When you have chicken pox, it starts out like a cold -- you feel lousy, have a runny nose, and run a fever. Then, all of a sudden, itchy red bumps start to break out all over your body. The itching drives you crazy, but you can't scratch, because that just makes it worse. It is a very uncomfortable feeling, but it isn't hopeless. Rubbing on some calamine lotion may help to ease the itching. In a few days, the sores go away, the itching stops, and life is back to normal again.
During the time when Jesus lived upon the earth, leprosy was very wide-spread and was a dreaded disease. When someone had leprosy, they were covered with sores all over their bodies. Unlike chicken pox, these sores didn't just go away. When someone had leprosy, it was hopeless, because there was no cure. To make matters worse, other people considered them to be unclean and were not allowed to touch them. Many people believed that people who had leprosy got the disease because of some terrible sin they had committed.
One day a man with leprosy came to Jesus. The man knelt down before Jesus and said, "If you will, you can make me clean." Jesus looked at the man and he felt love and compassion for him. He reached out his hand and touched the man and said, "I am willing, be clean." Immediately, the leprosy left the man and he was cured.
Sometimes, we may find ourselves in a situation where we are uncomfortable, like when we had the chicken pox. But there may come a time in our lives when we find ourselves in a situation that is truly hopeless. When that happens, where can we turn? How do we find hope in a hopeless situation? We can turn to Jesus. When the situation is hopeless, Jesus is our only hope.
Dear Father, you sent your Son to bring hope to the hopeless. When we find ourselves in a hopeless situation, we will put our hope and trust in him. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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