Readings for the 15th Sunday after Pentecost

Mark 7:31-37; James 2:1-10,14-18; Isaiah 35:4-7a

Wheelchair ramps. Signs written in braille. Closed captioning on the TV screen. They are the signs of a groaning creation. They remind us of the people whose bodies – arms and legs, eyes and ears – don’t work the same way yours and mine do. People who can’t count on the same kinds of accessibility, or acceptance that the rest of us simply take for granted every day. We see them at the grocery store, the mall, at church. But do we actually see them? And, if so, how do we see them?

The Gospel and Old Testament readings for Sunday encourage us to think about those among us who have physical impairments or disabilities. Isaiah prophesied that God would come to earth specifically to help the blind, deaf, and lame (Is. 35). Jesus saw the deaf man, heard his family’s begging, and treated him as someone who belonged in the Kingdom of God as much as anyone else (Mark 7). The Epistle lesson’s warning against favoritism and partiality among Christians fits well with this theme.

How are you reflecting the values of Jesus rather than the values of our culture regarding those with physical disabilities?