Monday, November 02, 2020

We Weren't Created to be Separate

Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.

~Leviticus 13:45-46
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

~Luke 17:11-13
A couple of weeks ago my Precept class began studying the book of Leviticus. Our current lesson had us looking at leprosy (among other holiness issues...) and in my study this week, the above passage from Luke grabbed my heart.
Here were these men - afflicted with a disease - living separated, as the law commanded them to do. They saw Jesus, they knew He could help them, but they stood at a distance. The law of Moses required a lot more than 6-foot "social distancing" for those with leprosy. As long as they were unclean, these poor folks had to live outside the camp, announcing their unclean-ness everywhere they went so nobody would accidentally come into contact with them.
Learning the law and the motivation behind it helps me understand the reason it was necessary. But as I read those words in Luke, they stood at a distance, as I thought about those men staying away - desperate and begging for mercy, and as I considered the similarities to what's going on in our COVID world today I couldn't help but hear this phrase echoing in my mind:
We weren't created to be separate.
We just weren't.
We were created for relationship.
Right now, however, although we aren't under laws like they were in the days of Leviticus, COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on our ability to be together. We may not be living alone or outside the camp, (Though for some people, that condition is their virtual reality.) but we aren't living with the relationships our hearts desire and our souls need, either. And as I was reading the Luke passage I could nearly hear the pain in the voices of those men as they called to Jesus for mercy. As they begged Him to have pity on them. Because that longing is in my own heart right now.

Is it in yours, too?

I found myself repeating the plea of the ten lepers, begging God to have pity on us and to heal our world of COVID. Because we weren't created to be separate!
And then I could hear Him saying to my heart, I know, dear one. Because I am your Creator. I made you with the need for others. I gave you the desire for connection. The capacity to give and receive love. I know, dear one.
But that wasn't the end of it. Very quickly God reminded me that just as we weren't created to be separate from one another, we were not created to be separate from HIM.
Yet that is just what our sin did. It separated us from a holy God.
Completely broke the relationship we were created to have with our Creator.

But God.

Ahhhhh, but God.
God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

~John 3:16
God made a way to overcome the deadly sickness of sin which separated us from the relationship with Him for which we were created. HE did it! Praise Him!!!
In God's unending mercy and amazing grace He sent His Son to take away our sin for all of eternity.
HE had everlasting pity on us.
How thankful I am for the sacrifice our High Priest made for us - once, for all - so we could be cleansed and restored!
And if God was able through Christ to heal our souls of sin, I know HE is able to heal our bodies and our land of COVID-19. Even as I believe He is using this pandemic to humble our hearts and bring lost souls into relationship with Himself.
Yes, LORD, please let it be.