The Leper

Ever been a leper? I have. I still am.

Lepers are people separated from the mainstream society. Isolated. Beaten. Pushed to the side. Shamed. Ashamed. I have met the leper many times. I meet him every morning shaving. I meet her as the abused woman, the taunted gay teenager, the child who has trouble in school, the sentenced murderer,  the hooker, the heroin addict, the young person and the tenured professor who took their own lives, the depressed, oppressed, repressed, and suppressed souls who live in quiet despair. Sometimes we break the chains of the psychic and social code. Sometimes we move out of the leper colony, push our way through the crowd and cry out.

That’s what this sermon is about.  Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska, MN.

Let me know what you think. Better yet, let me know what you feel. Peace.


3 thoughts on “The Leper

  1. Oh Gordon, thank you so much for making your sermon available. I am deeply touched.

    The depths of Christian compassion sometimes makes me fearful; fearful that I cannot attain such a pure and merciful heart. My only hope is knowing that my attempts, and my failures, are watched with God’s loving eyes and forgiving heart.

    It seems to me that my life has been a serious of entering and exiting a leprous state, mostly entering. I used to feel that I was valueless, until someone somehow opened a door that I knew was for me. On the other side of that door was Jesus, telling me that I am beloved just as I am. Such a revelation. My life has never been the same.

    I offer you thanksgiving and praise for this beautiful sermon. I am going to forward a link to it to several of my friends. I think they will love it too. God bless you.


    • Greetings, again. I just posted a LONG reply to your thoughtful comment on the Christ after the Flagellation photo and poem.

      The NT story of blind Bartimeaus is the story of one who was blind to his own worth/value. Bartimaeus is not a name. It’s a description. “Bar” (son) of “Timeus” (from the word “timao” meaning worth). Please take a close look at my reply to the other post, put it together with this sermon, and let me know whether you see the connection between the two.

      Your comment here encourages me to keep on. Like you and so many others, I go back and forth. My worst enemy is some ideal of who I should be. It’s in the name of such “self-ennobling” that self-hate arises. Beyond the relation to the self, the pogroms and massacres of the 20th century (the dealiest century in the history of humankind) were done in the name of some version of an idealized humanity.

      Blessings and Peace.


  2. Gordon, while thinking of the lonely suffering, please remember the people of the Baltic and the wonderful story of their singing their way to freedom. Remind your folks (and anyone who reads this) that we’ll be showing the film of that event at 7pm at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church. Bring a tissue to help control the response you can’t help but experience.


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