Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost
October 13, 2013
Being made well
I attended a milestone high-school reunion this year, and my tenth wedding anniversary is coming up, so relationships are on my mind. Today’s Gospel has something to say about relationships.
Even the lepers, who are outcasts, are ten gathered together. Probably, despite isolation from the rest of society, they are finding community among one another. These ten, when Jesus came near, cried out to him, but they didn’t ask for livestock, a fine home, riches, or even healing. Instead, they cried, “Have mercy on us.” They weren’t asking individually; they were seeking Jesus’ mercy together. The dictionary defines mercy as kindness, compassion, favor; all represent relationship. What are our requests of God? Material things? Or relationship-with God, with others, with self?
Jesus sent all ten away to show themselves to the priests. It took faith for them to go, because they had not yet been healed. The healing came when they trusted Jesus and did as he instructed. How much more could we be “healed” if we did the same?
As they were healed, don’t you wonder how they reacted? Did they stop, amazed at the healing in themselves and each other? Did they race to see who could get to the priest first? Regardless, nine went on their way, but one turned back and praised God in a loud voice and thanked Jesus. All nine were healed physically, but that one (a Samaritan no less!) was also “made well.”
Too often our prayer and worship become about what we can “get” from the church, from God. Instead, even in the most difficult times, we are to focus on praising and thanking God, and seeking deeper relationships. May we all thus be “made well”!
Sandra Crase, pastor, Freedom Moravian Church, Appleton, Wisconsin