…He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, … he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father…
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
… And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.
Through Israel, God teaches about holiness and how the life we live in the here and now is a consecrated life, a life made holy by God’s presence in their practices. This was for the blessing of the nations and God’s way of showing how each life matters as does each community; it didn’t bring them merit but was the message of the Kingdom of God that bound them together.
The life we live matters; how we treat our bodies, the food we eat, caring for the land and creatures we share creation with. The people of the covenant, Israel, knew that they were accepted by God and that he had provided a way so that they could know the truth and live a life of blessing.
Jesus came to his own and taught and healed. Many were drawn from across Syria and Jesus had compassion on them all. What does the new life he offers look like? Impossible; full of dos and do nots? The people reach out to Jesus and are healed in their act of faith, which did not depend on where they were from or the life they lived.
Life is complicated, much separates us one from another; Jesus offers peace to all. We need peace to live a life of blessing. Paul’s gospel is, we have peace in Christ and are called to a life of blessing. The blessing is in Christ in all circumstances, who opens our eyes and ears to the blessings of God so that here and now we can live in the Kingdom of God, bound together in forgiveness and empowered by resurrection life of Christ. This peace leads us to treat our bodies with reverence, love one another, share food and water and care for all creatures.
We find ourselves following Jesus into the place of prayer, alone with God, studying and learning from him, looking to find him in the scriptures. And as Jesus is formed in us by the narrow way of compassion and a love. The wide way of pride and violence leads to destruction. Christ is formed within us as we live in the Kingdom of God, the rule of God, with faith, hope and love.
The life we lead will be a blessing and, as others find Jesus in us, they will reach out to us as they did to his cloak, and we will see the healing of the nations. The life of the rule of God releases healing power. God will bring people to us and as they touch Christ in us they will be healed. Our place is to live the life of Christ within, a consecrated life, a life made holy by God’s presence in our practices.