February 27, 2009 - Friday after Ash Wednesday

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 2:4-25; St. Mark 1:29-45

And Jesus spoke harshly to him and sent him away at once and said to him, ‘Say nothing to anyone, but go show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded to witness to them.’”

(St. Mark 1:43-44)

In the name of Jesus. Amen. Jesus tells the just-been-healed leper to fast from telling others about Him. It would be ironically funny, if Jesus wasn’t so serious!

Others run to the television cameras. They race to get their picture taken. They want their face in the newspaper or to have a photo-op.

Who wouldn’t? Don’t you want to be famous? Don’t you want to be the next American Idol or an NFL football star? Like the song from the group Nickelback, “I wanna to be a rock star.”

Christ knows that those things pass away. He’s famous one day and will be forgotten the next. They’ll sing to Him as their King on Palm Sunday and then yell on Good Friday to crucify Him. The glory of men fades away.

Jesus isn’t just grumpily wanting to be left alone. He’s not pawning the leper off on the priest. “Go show yourself to someone else--just leave me alone!”

No, Jesus is on a mission. He’s headed to the Cross--to save you, me, and this leper from our sins. He can’t get distracted, not even in the first few chapters of His ministry, from what He’s given to do.

For Jesus, it is never about His own glory. This isn’t about Him at all. The Father sent Him to save you and me from our sins. Let others seek the cameras and the headlines--Jesus is headed to Jerusalem.

The glory belongs to God the Father. Go show yourself to the priest. Do what the Law has commanded. Let them all witness what God has done. All the while, Jesus is headed somewhere else to preach.

Your lives shouldn’t be all about you either. That’s something to give up today. Stop living for just yourself. No more spotlight shining on you. Take a cue from Jesus and serve others before you serve yourself.

Them before you. Those around you before you too. What do they need? How can you help them? How can you serve for them? Mom? Dad? Grandparents? Your family?

And don’t do it to save yourself. Jesus already took care of that for you on the Cross in Jerusalem. He’s made that salvation yours in your Baptism. He’s enlivened you to live not for yourself, but for those around you.

Today, Jesus does a quick healing and then leaves town. On to the Cross to die for you, me, and the leper. In the name of Jesus. Amen.