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Bible Study: Epiphany 6 (B) – 2012

February 13, 2012

2 Kings 5:1-14

So often, when faced with the poverty and oppression in the world, we are tempted to throw up our hands. It’s too difficult – where would we even begin? This story reminds us that often God calls us to find simple solutions to immediate problems. We can’t all be Mother Theresa and dedicate our lives to the care of lepers, but we can all donate blood, for example, or serve at a local soup kitchen, or advocate for better healthcare for the poor. Rather than be overwhelmed with all the problems in this world, let us wash in the Jordan seven times, and seek a simple solution to an immediate problem to become clean.

Psalm 30

What makes you exalt in the Lord? For what deliverances in this life are you most thankful?

How will you express your thanks to God? With dancing and song? With service to others? With joy in the morning?

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

How do you prepare for an important task such as a race? What practices are important to get ready? Do you think that punishing your body is helpful training or needless effort?

What is our imperishable crown? How do we know when we have obtained it? Can we ever stop running the race in this lifetime?

Mark 1:40-45

Unlike Elisha, Jesus does not prescribe a ritual, easy or difficult, for the leper. He just heals him, immediately. I admit that I struggle with this story, because I know so many who suffer who are not immediately healed. Why does Jesus choose to make this man clean, but not so many others who feel unclean or are shunned by society? And why does He tell the leper to keep it a secret? Wasn’t He sent to proclaim good news to the poor? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I am comforted by the fact that our God walked among us and knew real suffering. He healed real sufferers. He hears the cries of the needy. And even though I can’t explain why some people are healed and others are not, it helps to know that Jesus has been down this road before, and is here with us too.

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Christopher Sikkema


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