Mark 5. 21-43
She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.”
Well my friends, unless you are over 100, you are living in a world like none we have ever known. We are in a world wide pandemic, the likes of which the world has not seen since the Spanish flu pandemic 100 years ago. Unfortunately, there is not a manual for how to manage this situation, so we are all scrambling to know what to do.
For those of us who worship regularly, we are facing a way of worshiping we have never known, including no Eucharist or at least no bread (the Body of Christ).
Before the worst set in, I participated in a service where we were only given the bread. It seemed incomplete, though I know we as Episcopalians recognize the bread as full communion. Now some of us cannot even receive the bread, worship is virtual and prayers are private, unless they are shared on social media.
The gospel story this morning led me to think about how I can touch the hem of Jesus' garment in these days of "social distancing" and self-quarantine. For all of my life, I have taken the Body and Blood of Jesus weekly, sometimes daily, sometimes more than once a day. As an adult it has been the strength and fortitude I need to get through another week. It has enabled me to empty and replenish, to apologize and forgive, and to hope and love. Now what?
Perhaps we need not look far to find "the hem of his garment" to touch and be restored.
Is there a place where I can reach out with a phone call, an email, a text, a snail mail card? Is there a way I can extend my heart in a new and different way?
Where is "the hem of his garment" in your world? Where can you do the work God has given you to do in a different way?
May the peace that passes all understanding be with you as you search for a way to be in communion with one another this day and all the days forward while we live in a relative isolation.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer!