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An Easter Message From the FLC

2024 Lenten Reflection and Message

Fellowship of the Least Coin (FLC)

HEALING

Mark 1:29-31 (NIV)

As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. 

 

From Mark's narrative, the first woman to appear in Jesus' ministry is this older, nameless woman who is in her home. It is, according to the concepts of the time, in the place where she should be. And so, Jesus, who doesn’t seem to be satisfied with just going to her house, takes a surprising step and goes into her room, where she is in bed.

 

Although he is told that the woman is suffering some kind of illness, Jesus does not need to go to a place as intimate as the bedroom to perform the miracle. But he comes to her bed, close to her pain, to her illness, to her life circumstances, to the vulnerability of that woman.

 

When someone enters your home, they enter your daily life and your family environment. But when someone enters your room, they enter the intimacy of your living space. It is the place where you only receive those closest to you—your family, the people who love you.

 

Jesus jumps all barriers and reaches the most intimate, most vulnerable space of that woman, reaching out to where her suffering, her anguish, and her illness are. This woman receives a visit from Jesus, who does not stand at a distance but approaches the place of her greatest need.


The next thing the text tells us is that Jesus takes that woman by the hand. Yet another barrier that Jesus overcomes. In this time and context, men did not address women and, even more so, avoided all physical contact unless they were from their immediate family, and even then, in a rather limited way since women were considered impure.

 

Again and again, we encounter Jesus, who is not afraid of prejudice, who is not afraid of what people will say. No barriers could keep him far away from us. He always draws closer; he does not stand at a distance. Instead, he extends his hand to offer a touch of respect, grace, and love.

 

Notice the importance of this gesture because whoever touches is in turn touched. Whoever gets involved is involved. In other words, we can't touch someone and not get involved with whatever that person is going through, because a touch without implication is abuse. It is a utilitarian and selfish use of our approach to another human being.


The text goes on to state that Jesus not only entered her room, stretched out his hand to touch her, but also helped her to get up. The touch of Jesus is always healing. It is always forgiving, and it is always transformative because it is a touch of grace.

 

Jesus raised that woman from the place of sickness, from the place of pain and darkness, and from the place of invisibility and marginalization, from the place of prejudice and dehumanization. Jesus used the power of love, compassion, transforming, and sustaining grace to give that woman a new opportunity to be at her fullest and to accomplish what God wanted her to become.

 

In this Holy Week and Easter celebration, let us be reminded that Jesus continues to enter our home, our place of vulnerability, the place that is supposed to be our refuge and our comfort, but that in many instances has become the space of pain, dehumanization, violence, and even death for millions of women around the world.

Let us live out, affirm, and commit ourselves to the Reign of God as we continue to pray without ceasing, set aside our least coin offerings with joy and faithfulness, and work with hope and passion in the healing of our world.

Rev. Dr Yamina APOLINARIS, Chairperson

International Committee for the FLC (ICFLC)

March 2024

 

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About

This Herstory Blog of Australian Church Women Inc. tells the stories of the women and activities of this national Christian organisation that was founded in February 1965.

Stories that inspired and encouraged me to begin this blog and share their inspiration with you. Stories that need to be told so that the women of ACW can be honoured and celebrated for their achievements and experiences in local, national and international communities of faith. And, most importantly, stories that demonstrate being disciples of Jesus Christ firmly underpins all that Australian Church Women represents.

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