Standing Outside the Gates

Linda McDermott_150The scripture we are looking at this week is Mark’s story about the woman who touches Jesus’ garment and is healed (Mark 5:25-34). It’s another rather complicated story, but we may miss an important point if we don’t understand the ways of Jewish law at that time — a woman hemorrhaging for 12 years and never being able to find a cure is a person who is in the position of being perpetually “unclean.” In other words, she is cut off from “polite” society, cut off from worship, cut off from God. There is no purification ritual available to her to remedy her situation. She is forever standing outside the gates of the temple — of life.

What does this have to say to us about law and grace? Jesus’ response speaks volumes!

This Sunday we will be celebrating the sacrament of Holy Communion. In our church, as in all United Methodist churches, ours is an open table. That means all are invited. All. What does our open table say about law and grace?

We will end our service Sunday singing a familiar and very loved hymn, “Amazing Grace.” I hope each of us will take some time this week to ponder the power of God’s grace to bring healing into our lives and into this world — even if others may tell us we are unworthy or that we too, should stand “outside the gates.”

See you Sunday in worship.







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