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?”
I’ve heard a bunch of sermons on this gospel passage about being more thankful, but many fewer about how God sees and celebrates the faith of foreigners and non-church folk. But the second was Jesus’ point: who gave thanks, not that he did.
It is the human ego that separates itself from others and plays superiority games. It draws lines and borders, then puts down people on one side and puffs up people on the other side.
When Jesus met these 10 lepers, he was on his way to the cross, walking along the border between put-down Samaria and puffed up Galilee. He walked the line in order to erase it. He noticed the thankful one was a Samaritan “foreigner” in order to stop the superiority games. It cost Jesus his life, but it was worth it. This dangerous border-erasing path was in truth the way to life that really is life.
Ask God to show you “foreigners” from God’s point of view. As we stop trying to “save” them or protect ourselves, how might we be healed?
Saint Paul Lutheran Church
715 South Third Street
Clinton, IA 52732
(at the foot of the south bridge)