On the island, it might as well be Monopoly money—pretty colored slips of paper with no real value. Now it is this last point that I want to connect to our scripture lesson for this morning—the quantity of something one possesses is irrelevant—what matters is how the something can be employed to make a difference.
And the 9 lepers in our story? It seemingly makes no difference. But first, we need to set a few pieces of background. Luke tells us that Jesus is traveling along the border between Samaria and Galilee. Go back to the days of King David and King Solomon and they were all one people.
Seven hundred years before the time of Jesus, the Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom, and when the Assyrians conquered a region, they dispersed its inhabitants to the four corners of their empire, and moved other people in. It broke down the culture and the resistance, you see. Eventually these peoples intermingled and intermarried. To make matters worse, when the Jews of the southern kingdom returned from their own exile in Babylon years later, they appealed to their northern neighbors for help in rebuilding the temple and walls of Jerusalem, the holy city.
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The Samaritans declined. Secondly, we need to know a little about leprosy and its social consequences. Leprosy was the term used for any number of skin diseases or ailments. It was viewed as contagious and it was viewed as a mark of spiritual uncleanness.
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In any event, our scripture begins as a simple healing story. Ten lepers call out to Jesus, he instructs them to go to the priest and show themselves and in faith or in desperation, they go and on the way, miracle of miracles, they are made clean. Now—pause for one moment and reflect upon what this healing means. It is a complete alteration of their circumstances—once a simple ritual is completed with the priests, the lepers are members of society once more.
They can live with spouses and families in the village; hug their children; move freely about the market; no more must they shout unclean, no more must they be called untouchable! As we might imagine, the lepers, all ten of them, have, as I mentioned before, boatloads of gratitude and footlockers filled with appreciation. Their circumstances are transformed. Their lives—well no. They were at the center of their own lives before self-centered and despite their changed circumstances, they are at the center of their own lives after.
The difference—is in the one leper. The Samaritan. But the one Samaritan leper responds differently.
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When he saw that he was healed, he turned back, praising God with a loud voice. To the nine, Jesus is that great guy, that wise doctor who healed them.
But the Samaritan, transformed, has moved from self-centered to God centered or Christ-centered. His circumstances are changed and his LIFE is transformed. This is why Jesus says to the Samaritan only, your faith has made you well. All ten were healed…one was transformed …. As a wife and mother, being a servant is second nature. I feel like I spend the majority of my life looking after someone else.
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But being a servant in my relationship with God is another matter entirely. Am I that brave? What I should do is let God lead. I should be more like Samuel in 1 Samuel But how do I go about doing that? One thing I could do is find a quiet place where I can go and meet God. For me, that is my kitchen table after everyone has left in the morning. Let God quiet my racing heart and brain, and then come to Him with humility.
To act justly and to love mercy. And to walk humbly with your God. This is a sermon given by Ben back in October reflecting on the story of Zacchaeus Luke It has been downloaded more times than any other sermon posted on the NWPC website to date times. But more importantly, it serves as a reminder of how the love of Christ can transform us…. And he really wants….. NWPC has been blessed with members willing to share their thoughts about their faith life in our weekly Friday Reflections posts here on the web. Did you catch them all?
Want to share, but need an idea on what to write about? Check out the previous Friday Reflection posts…they cover a variety of perspective and topics! I thank you whole-heartedly for that. I hope you enjoy the video , ellie. Life-Changing Gratitude Luke by Dr. Let me flesh that out a little bit: But first, we need to set a few pieces of background. All ten were healed…one was transformed … To read or listen to the rest of the sermon, click here to access the audio and accompanying pdf.
What God wants of us, as His servants, can be summed up in Micah …. The family in Maccabees spoke their truth and were tortured for it. They showed unflinching bravery in the face Were you ever part of a team at the parish, school, hospital or any ministry site or function that made a big new bold pastoral plan?
You spend weeks, months making this plan. Then comes the grand roll-out for the plan. The plan makes a good run for a few months or My mother died five days before Christmas last year. A message for the Solemnity of St. Jeffrey Kirch, C. The feast day of our founder, St. This reflection is about the readings for St. By Fr. Jim Smith, C. Wherever in the world you are, you can have access to emergency services just by dialing a few numbers on your telephone.
One dials and gets immediately connected to emergency service. How often does our prayer take the form of dialing —praying when we face an I cry for help but you do not listen! Before I joined the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, I worked for many years as a social service case manager. I worked with families and later the elderly to help them with housing, food and medical care.
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My clients were in a very poor part of the city and almost Wait, what? Did Jesus really just say that? Jesus makes the central figure a dishonest steward.