Sunday, October 10, 2010
Outcasts and Foreigners
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well." Luke 17:11-19
We went to a farm earlier this week to buy some mums and got to watch some chickens and goats there. They all have their ways of deciding who among them is in charge and who the outcasts and rejected ones are. Some are allowed inside and some not. The tire seemed to be a sacred space for some chickens and off limits to others. They communicated this clearly by pecking and squawking at each other. There was an order to life, even if it was harsh for some and easy for others.
Lepers in previous centuries were the outcasts of outcasts. Not only were they sick but they were contagious. Quarantined and separated, isolated and removed they were the last people that society thought deserved God's attention. And yet, it was to these outcasts Jesus came and healed all of them - the grateful and ungrateful alike.
Today, I ask God to make me grateful for all the healing and abundance in my life. An outcast among outcast, and understanding well what isolation means, I want to turn back and thank God for all the healing, at every moment. May we realize God's goodness to us today and be thankful for all of it today.