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Touching the Outcast

Who are we afraid to touch?
There was a time when people were afraid to touch patients with AIDS or be anywhere near them. Elizabeth Kubler Ross, the famed author of the book, On Death and Dying, tried to establish a work with AIDS patients in Highland County, Virginia, many years ago. However, she was, basically, driven out of the county, I believe, in part, by fear. On the positive side, on a worldwide level, Princess Diana helped many people to overcome their fear of AIDS by meeting with AIDS patients and actually touching them.
In our text for today from Mark 1:40-45 we are going to read about someone in the ancient world who most people were afraid to touch, most people except Jesus. Listen for God’s word to you….
A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. Af…
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Too Busy Not to Pray

A June 2012 article in The New York Times online apparently struck a nerve for many people. The article received over 800 comments and was often quoted and retweeted. The following quote captures the essence of the author’s analysis of what he calls “the busy trap.”If you live in America in the 21st century, you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite.”Busyness serves as a kind of … hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day…. [We’re] busy because of [our] own ambition or drive or anxiety, because [we’re] addicted to busyness and dread what [we] might have t…