advent: before and after

This is for those who are feeling ill, broken hearted, outcast, lonely.

Jesus comes along with compassion, identifying with those in pain; healing physically, but more importantly, healing injured and downcast souls. Medical cure is not His foremost commission.  

Many restorative examples are found in the New Testament. Leprosy in those days was a broad term encompassing those unacceptable in any way, physically as well as socially. This list is long: those taboo, contagious, disabled, disfigured, dangerous, not meeting beauty standards, acting differently, espousing differing opinions, choosing different options, etc.

Reading about the life of Jesus, we find hope in stories of healing, real spiritual transformation. He socializes with outsiders, physically touches, deeply probing and healing aching heats. In his acceptance, outcasts are healed. 

Society has not changed. Any person not measuring up to current, changing societal standards knows the hurt of the outcast.

We are all “before” pictures. Encountering Jesus offers us glorious “after” pictures. Our healing results in restoration, leading to human connections. May we reflect the light of this transformation to our communities.

Daily Meditations for Advent (Richard Rohr, 2008)

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