Hope Church Online: The Stirring January 3, 2021

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Aug 22-23 | Proximity | Never Alone | Barry Rodriguez

Luke 5:12-16
Being a leper was the worst possible thing during this time. It meant you were isolated from community, exempt from human touch, and completely dependent on the compassion of others for basic survival.

Now, the fact that Jesus heals this man is wonderful. It plays a big role in establishing who he is as the Messiah, it’s great. But what I want to focus on today is how he heals him. Because it goes way beyond physical healing.

He doesn’t just heal this man’s body; He heals his isolation.

All through the gospels we see Jesus healing people in a lot of different ways. Sometimes he speaks and they’re healed. Sometimes he prays first. One time he spits on the ground and rubs some mud on a blind man’s eyes. So we know he could have healed this man in a lot of different ways.

Jesus saw this man’s dignity and willingly risked it all because he understood that,

Healing isolation requires proximity.

What would happen if we did the same?

Proximity - even virtual proximity - requires we cross a threshold of fear. I believe it’s time for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus and touch the leper, choose proximity, and watch as God’s healing flows through us and into our broken world.

Take a moment right now and think of one person in your life who is isolated. It could be any kind of isolation - physical, mental, emotional. Family member, co-worker, classmate, neighbor… Get that person in your mind.

And here’s what I want you ask God right now: what would proximity look like for them? Again, it doesn’t have to be physical proximity. What does it mean for you to reach out? To get close?

What is the Holy Spirit inviting you to do right now? And are you willing to do it?

Download the full sermon notes here: https://gracechurch.us/media/proximity

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'You Were Made for More' because God created you ON purpose FOR a purpose. This is the vision of Grace Church, led by Pastor Barry Rodriguez and based in Indianapolis, IN.



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