Pause

We make decisions every day about who we accept and who we don't, who belongs and who can be ignored.

When dealing with matters like this, it's good to remember that God knows no such boundaries and ignores no one.

You are welcomed now into the presence of the very One who embraces you in the same way as any other person.

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Listen

Then 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?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

Luke 17:17-19

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Think

Luke surprises the reader by telling us that of the ten lepers who Jesus healed, the only one who returned was a Samaritan – a cultural outsider in Jewish society. While all ten were in need of wholeness and restoration and trusted Jesus to heal them, only one responded with praise. Jesus seems pretty surprised himself as he asks about the other nine. And this foreigner is the only one to give praise?!

Despite his disbelief, Jesus says something wonderful to the Samaritan: “Your faith has made you well.” He’s saying: “You, person of faith, just as you are, are made whole.” This is a word of blessing and affirmation for the faith of the foreigner.

Are we surprised when we witness the faith of people who are very different from us? Who are those people in our society whom the church would like to deny God’s blessing? Do we doubt the genuiness of someone’s faith? Who are our Samaritans?

Faith heals us and makes us whole. Let's not deny the blessedness of faith to those who are different from us.

Meredith Shaw

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Pray

God of love, thank you for the gift of faith which you offer to us all. Thank you for your healing in my life. Help me to appreciate the faith of others – especially those who are different from me. Amen.

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Go

You are moving now into the day ahead,
No stranger to the One who has made you
And has kept you right up until this moment.

Pause today from time to time and feel
The embrace of a God who offers you welcome.
Share that welcome with all you meet.

Meredith Shaw Forssman

Meredith Shaw is a student at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She also works in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Resource Center as a missional congregations assistant. She likes books, coffee, travel, and snail mail.

I Come to the Garden Alone

Ken Medema

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