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William H. Willimon, in his commentary on our text, shared the following story from his childhood. "A little girl in my second grade class got the dreaded disease of polio. Our teacher described to us the possible complications of her disease. She told us in some detail about the bad things that could happen to her body.

"But our teacher also told us that, because of the polio, we could have no contact with her. We could write her a get-well card, but we could not visit her. And I remember thinking at that moment that the polio itself wouldn’t be all that terrible. I, as an eight-year-old, could put up with the physical pain and inconvenience, but the isolation, the shunning, the loneliness would be the worst."

(From a sermon by Ronald Harbaugh, "Jesus Shows Anger?" 2/12/2009)

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