4th MARCH

A CAPTIVE of SHAME

Luke 8: 40 - 48

“Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace.”

 

We all have had embarrassing moments moments in life.  We’ve all had times when we have just wished that the ground would quite literally open up and swallow us up.  It might have been something that we have said.  It might even have been something that we have done.  More often than not it is inadvertent in that we never ever meant to say or do it or for it to cause any offence.

 

The woman who appears when Jesus was on his way to the house of Jairus was one who caused offence not by anything that she had said or anything that she had done but because of a condition that she had no control over.  She was bleeding and had been for some twelve years.  She had sought help but discovered that no-one but no-one could help.  I have no doubt that with this condition came pain which must have been unbearable at times, yet there was another manifestation of this and that was shame.  Her condition caused a great deal of embarrassment that bordered on shame when her presence, the presence of one who was ritually unclean, offended the great and the good of the day.  Just imagine for a moment how you might have felt when you were not only suffering so much pain and discomfort, but also being shunned by society.

 

The shame, it could be argued, was not of her own making, but was the shame of others who couldn’t deal with her illness.  She was in a difficult position, yet her faith was not daunted.  She just needed to get close enough to touch his garment and not only was she healed, she also no longer bore the shame which was a constant cloud over her.

 

Shame comes in different shapes and forms.  It can be because of our awareness of something in our life that we are far from proud of.  It can be a word spoken out of turn or an action that we wish we could just blot out or press the rewind button that we might do things in quite a different way.  It can also be a shame that others have placed upon us as they have passed judgement on us.  It can affect our relationships.  It can eat away at us like anything detrimental we hold onto.  When the shame is our own, then the forgiving touch of Christ will set us free.   When it is another’s, then that forgiving touch of Christ will set us and others free.

  • Do you carry the burden of shame?  What hope does this passage offer you?  How might Jesus set you free?

 

Lord of the cross and shame,

you have taken so much onto your shoulders for our sake.

As we draw close to you may we know the power of your love and mercy.

AMEN.