Our scripture for this week is Luke 17:11-19.
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
This lesson has many things to teach us. We see Jesus reaching out to those in need, the healing God provides, and the renewed relationship of faith that grows out of that blessing. Each of these things are important in our connection with God and others.
These lepers had been rejected and separated from society because of their condition. Other people shunned them and they often lived from day to day in loneliness and pain, without the support of the community. Jesus is not afraid to engage them and offers them healing. He instructs them to show themselves to the priests, but one is awed by what he has received, and turns back to offer thanks and praise.
Jesus tells him “Rise and go, your faith has made you well”, an indicator that he is headed the right direction, but that more is to be required of him. Jesus doesn’t give him a specific task, but when we are healed by our faith, the implicit instruction is to share that joy and the relationship with God that allowed it to happen in our lives with others. We are made whole for a purpose, to spread the Good News to all the world.
Loving Lord, we receive blessings from You every day, but we sometimes forget to activate them by thanking You and going to share our joy with others. Help us to show our gratitude as a way of showing others Your love and bringing them to a connection with You. Amen.