Monday, October 8, 2007

The Foreigner Returned Luke 17:11-19

Ten leper's met Jesus as he entered a village. Luke says the 10 kept their distance; calling out, Ἰησου̂ ἐπιστάτα, ἐλέησον ἡμα̂ς Jesus, master/leader be kind/merciful to us. Jesus saw them and responded. "Go to priest and show him that you are clean."

Luke says that on their way to the priest all ten were made clean. One came back thankful that he was cleansed of his disease. The other 9 moved on back to their lives but this one, a Samaritan, came back to Jesus to offer thanks.

The world is full of hurting people calling out for mercy. As a pastor in a church with a fund to help hurting people we often get calls for a little help with gas, rent, or a utility bill. Some people call repeatedly looking for help thinking that their need is unique. We limit our help to once or twice a year. Our funds can go only so far; and often after saying no to one repeated request we find that we can help many others.

Most people who we help don't ever come back. Some return just to ask for help again (and sometimes again and even again). And every so often some one returns to say thanks.

Jesus knows the hurt and broken parts of each person. We all come to God seeking healing, cleansing, and wholeness. Liturgically our words in the Kyrie plead,

Lord have mercy,
Christ have mercy,
Lord have mercy
Jesus mercy extends far beyond mine. He reached out to heal and told the hurting to go on with their lives. Some return realizing the mercy/kindness that God has shown and ask for more. Some return to God giving thanks and praise.

It's easy to get caught up in our problems; but in God's mercy, given again and again, we are given new hope and even a reason to give thanks and praise.

1 comment:

Pastor Eric said...

"The other 9 moved on back to their lives but this one, a Samaritan, came back to Jesus to offer thanks." -- I like this. The other nine were more concerned with their lives and with the rules than with what REALLY happened.