Leprosy, called Hansen’s disease in modern parlance, was a disease of isolation. To our bronze age ancestors living in Bible times, the “uncleanness” of leprosy clearly caused a separation between its host and his community. Moses records the quarantine orders for the leper, “he shall live alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp”. What we now understand as a chronic mycobacterial infection transmitted zoonotically, was the kiss of death to any hope for life inside cultural community.
While the isolation of the 21st century can be as keenly acute, the causes are different. Busy schedules, virtual loneliness and work opportunities separating family and friends by distance, have lead to a virtually quarantined existence. But despite the obvious differences, bronze age man and modern technocrat share an important commonality. The release of quarantine comes through engaging the God of the Bible. Jeremiah 6:16 says, “stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient path, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls”. Lepers found new entry into communal life through the cleansing of their God and technocrats can enter new life through peace found in the relationship with that same God. And all along the way the church is called to step inside the quarantine no matter the cost.
Engage! is an outreach ministry of the forever family found in relationship at Freedom Calvary in Pueblo, Colorado. Our live stream Engage! webcasts ( http://www.ccpueblo.org/live-stream/ ) are designed to challenge seekers and “re-encourage” believers to connect with truth as revealed in scripture as a means toward finding new and deeper relationship with God through Christ. As we interact across diverse boundaries, quarantine is broken.
The most poignant example of one who breaks quarantine and invites all into relationship are found in the words of Jesus Christ when he says, “come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Let us keep these words in mind as Engage! explores the necessity and reliability of biblical revelation and then explores the words of this revelation in regard to authority, theodicy, creation, same sex relationships, gender identity and civil responsibility.