We are so familiar with shame, Jesus;

we never quite manage to hide the blemishes,

on our skins and on our hearts;

we are lepers, unclean –

each in our own way.

 

But, there is not a disease or a sin

that has ever stopped you, Jesus;

There is no stain so dark,

no infection so contagious,

no disfigurement so repulsive,

that it has turned you away.

 

You walk carelessly into the dark and broken places,

within us and around us,

and you take us in your arms,

surrounding us,

embracing us,

comforting and healing us;

And this – this indiscriminate love – is why we have hope.

 

Thank you;

We praise you;

Jesus, our Hope-bringer.

 

Amen.

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