The story of Jesus healing touch of one considered “untouchable,” a man with leprosy, illuminates Jesus’ great compassion for all people – even those who are shunned or ostracized by society. Stories of Jesus’ miraculous healings, such as the one in the focus passage today, can precipitate challenging discussions among youth and adults.
Affirm all feelings expressed as valid, and be careful that no one feels that her or his experience of faith has been discounted. The discussions in the session materials can help group members consider the wide spectrum of experiences with which the word “healing” can be associated.
Compare the healing story of Naaman with the healing story of Jesus. What are the differences and similarities? How might the story of Jesus’ healing of the man with leprosy speak to us today?
We give thanks, O God, that you choose to touch our world with compassion. May we be a healing and compassionate presence in the world.
~ from Ages 15-18, Prayers for Epiphany
Paradoxically, a group of humans becomes healing and converting only after its members have learned to stop trying to heal and convert. Community is a safe place precisely because no one is attempting to heal or convert you, to fix you, to change you. Instead, the members accept you as you are. You are free to be you. And being so free, you are free to discard defenses, masks, disguises; free to seek your own psychological and spiritual health; free to become your whole and holy self.
~ Dr. Scott Peck, from The Road Less Travelled