(See Luke 8:40-56)
Being a Christian manager
sometimes brings you problems, conflict between the faith and the
business. Once such was handed to me. She was an excellent
employee. She also believed—quite firmly—that AIDS is contagious by
Now, our installers were sent to
the job site in pairs. Another employees was paired with her—by
rotation—and she refused to work with him. He was an open homosexual, and
rumored to have AIDS. She absolutely would not work with the man. I
had the dubious privilege of telling her that, by company policy, I’d wind up
firing her for refusal, not him.
Put your mind upon the homosexual
for a minute. Amongst Christians, AIDS is the modern leprosy. Even
to be suspected of such is enough to make you socially unacceptable in many
churches. It is therefore instructive to learn from the woman who touched
The woman was suffering from some
condition which caused her to have blood flow every day. As such, she was
ceremonially unclean—evidently for life. She was not allowed to touch
anyone, but was required to announce her status loudly, so that no one would
defile himself by touching her accidentally. Years and years of implied
sinfulness; years and years of loneliness.
She hears of the new rabbi,
Jesus, and takes heart, gathers her courage and thinks, “If only I could touch
his garment.” This probably violates some ancient law; it’s not the best
of theology—but Jesus honors it. Perhaps this is because He is on His way
to the house of Jairus, there to raise his daughter from the dead. Jairus
might just need an example of faith.
Jesus does not rebuke her.
Instead, when all is clear, he speaks to her:
- what a sound to one who has been exiled from the family so many years!
faith has made you well.” Not what, but Who.
in peace” - no thought of returning to uncleanness, rather, peace.
We approach Communion and receive
much the same thing. By the sharing of His body and blood we are
confirmed in the kingdom of God—welcomed home, not as strangers but as children
of our heavenly Father. He acknowledges to us that it is faith that
matters, not ceremony. And as we leave His table, we are not only to go
in peace, but indeed be His ambassadors of peace and reconciliation.
“Power had gone out of me” said
Jesus, when she touched Him. In the same way He puts that divine power
within us, by faith. If you feel the power of God during Communion,
perhaps that is it: those with faith receive that power from their Lord.