Book: Kissing The Leper 
Author: Brad Jersak
Publisher: Fresh Wind Press
Kissing The Leper is based off of the portion of scripture in Matthew 25 when Jesus says “whatever you have done for the least of these, you have done for me”. It talks about reaching out to those people who do not have many people to reach out to them.
In the church, there are people who even other members of the church often don’t reach out to. People with disabilities or addictions, or people who don’t worship the way “everyone else” worships. In fact, we often are scared to interact with people who act differently. We like to stick to what’s “normal”. But really, what IS normal? Should there be such a thing as a normal Christian? We should be who God calls us to be, does God call us to be very similar in the things we do? We are a body, and a body doesn’t all work in the same way. Our arms do not work in the same way that our eyes work. Our fingers don’t work in the same way that our lips work.
Jesus isn’t the kind of guy to ride in on his white stallion…he’s more the kind of guy who would take public transport…or walk if he can’t afford it. The people who can’t afford to go out for dinner everyday, or who can’t afford monthly rent, those are who Jesus spends his time with. Those are the people who Jesus would be with if he was on earth today. Jesus would be in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver sitting in Pigeon Park just hanging out.
Jesus is in “the least of these”. Jesus isn’t going to help the helpless from afar; he is going to be right by them in their time of need. He is going to be there even when they do not think they are in need. He is there through the good times and the bad times. He is there through the highs and the lows. He is there for the least, and the lost.
Jesus doesn’t stick to what is comfortable to him. He sticks to what’s uncomfortable. He does things that the church today would probably just ask questions about, rather than go out and do them. Jesus is our example, but do we, as the body of Christ on Earth, really follow his example? Do we take what he does and what the bible says about his works seriously? Do we take it and use it in our own lives? Do we reflect Jesus in the things we do and the people we love?
It’s easy to love those who love you back, but it’s not easy to love those who could quite honestly care less about you. Brad Jersak mentions this a few times in “Kissing the Leper”. It’s easy to love your family, and your friends. It’s harder to love those who are “rough around the edges”. The addicts, the prostitutes, the gangsters, the people who seem to just not care, those are the people who are hard to love.
- Who are the different people in your community? Do people find it awkward to spend time with them? Why/why not?
- Some people are hard to love. What are some ways you can show them God’s love even when they seem not to care?
- William Booth said, “Go straight for souls, and go for the worst”. Does this match up with the ideas in this book? How is this different from just bringing your friends to a worship service or youth group?
This book was really good; it really taught me about love, real love. Not love that is easy. It taught me about the love of the Lord. It really encouraged me to love the “least of these”.
:: by Courtney McLeod
War College Conquerors Session