April 20th – “We Lepers”



At the age of 24, Father Damien, a Belgian priest went to work as a missionary at Malokai,a leper settlement in Hawaii.When he began he found that the lepers had a variety of attitudes towards religion.Some believed in God, some cursed God, and everything spiritual.It was like the rest of the world in its attitude towards God.Physically he could not cure their illness,he could only live and preach the gospel of Christ, and pray that they would turn to Christ and experience that change of heart which Christians call ‘conversion, or being ‘born again’.They would still be lepers, of course, but they always had the excuse that ‘Well the priest is all right, but he’s not really one of us’.
For sixteen years he worked, and taught, and prayed amongst them.Then one day, some boiling water splashed onto his hand, and he didn’t feel any pain. He began his next sermon with the words “We lepers …”. Now he was one of them.He shared their disease.He would die a leper as they would but afterwards he would be a leper no longer.The message he preached was greater even than death.

When Jesus was born, he became one of us, a fully human being, but he was unlike us in that he never caught the killing disease the Bible calls ’sin’.But as Jesus died, he became one with sinners, entering that realm of separation from God known to sinners only.He experienced the penalty of the human plague, the place of total spiritual dereliction, which he had never before known.In order to reach us spiritual lepers, he became a spiritual leper himself!
See again what Martin Luther described as the most awesome word in all scripture:
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. II Corinthians 5:21

A Prayer:
O the depths to which God will sink to reach those he loves.Thank you Lord for reaching me – even me.

Now read Psalm 51, and make it your own.

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Thought 4 The Day

Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light. (VR Edman)

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