Readings: Mark 5:25-34 and “The History of Bleeding” by Katie Manning; Psalm 103:1-6 and “First Blood” by Katie Manning
Sermon by Kayla Berkey
A woman who had been bleeding for 12 years came up behind Jesus and touched his clothes in hope of a cure. Jesus turned to her and said: “Fear not. Because of your faith, you are now healed.”
Then spoke the Pious Politician: “But teacher, is that wise? When you cure her, she learns dependency. Then the poor won’t take care of themselves, knowing that you’ll always bail them out! You must teach them personal responsibility!”
They were interrupted by 10 lepers who stood at a distance and shouted, “Jesus, have pity on us.”
“NO!” shouted the Pious Politician. “Jesus! You don’t have time. We have a cocktail party fund-raiser in the temple. And don’t worry about them — they’ve already got health care access.”
Jesus turned to the Pious Politician, puzzled.
“Why, they can pray for a cure,” the Pious Politician explained. “I call that universal health care access.”
Jesus turned to the 10 lepers. “Rise and go,” he told them. “Your faith has made you well.”
This is from a column in the New York Times by Nicholas Kristof that went viral several months ago. He uses a specific politician’s name. I think there are plenty of people whose names could be filled in there.
We’re here this morning with our lovely bodies that are created in God’s image. Some of our bodies have health challenges. Many of us take medications and get regular care for our bodies. And several of us in this congregation are doctors, nurses, therapists, healthcare workers who have spent time dedicated to healing others. Our bodies are beautiful, and when we come into this church space, we are always bringing our bodies with us.
So we have healthcare–the system that cares for our bodies. I work at a nonprofit called Consumer Health Coalition. I started there in 2014 as a Health Care Navigator, right at the beginning of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare/ACA). My job was created by this law to ensure that there would be people working on the ground to implement the new policy and help translate it into people’s lives.
I started this job in a time of excitement to see a step forward in making health care more accessible for more people. And like many of us who do work in health policy and advocacy, we hoped (and still hold out hope) that this would be a step toward universal health care.