Thursday, March 27, 2008

Way of the Cross-2008: Station Seven

I was fortunate enough to discover the 20th Annual Walk for Justice while I was in Springfield Illinois. The group was inter-denominational. The Stations were landmarks in downtown Springfield that could connect current events to Jesus today. I will review each station one at a time.

Station Seven: the Medical District, 7th and Mason

Station Seven: Jesus falls the second time

Jesus falls a second time, under the weight of the cross. The Compassionate Healer is himself becoming weaker and in need of healing care.

Here in Springfield, we have excellent medical facilities, providing the latest procedures and technologies. But many of our sisters and brothers have serious health needs that are not being addressed. Health care in the U.S. is arguably the best in the world, but it is far from being equally available to all who live here. With nearly 46 million people lacking insurance coverage, our wealthy nation is not living up to its potential, and is leaving millions outside of a healthcare system that discriminates base on income, job status or other factors that marginalize vulnerable people.

It is our neighbors who stand outside the hospital door. It is our neighbors who die from incurable diseases. It is our neighbors who suffer needlessly for want of basic medicines…Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Of all the forms of inequalities, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

We most find an alternative to the way we provide health care coverage today. Our faith calls us to carry one another’s burdens, to bind up wounds, to act with justice, and to treat one another with compassion.

Healing God, we ask your blessing today on all those whose quality of life is threatened by a lack of adequate health care. Ur voices cry out that health care is a basic human right. Life and health are your precious gift to us. We pray that your elected officials and other leaders in our community, state and nation may be attentive to the needs people who are uninsured and provide strong leadership to see that everyone in America has health coverage they need for their health and well-being.

The two major teaching hospitals in Springfield are within walking distance of this Station. I had spent much of the week in one of them. While standing at Station Seven the contrast between what is available and what is provided to people became very clear. We have a lot of work to do.

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