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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Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan.

Luke 17:15-16

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When we hear a story or listen to a joke, we’re usually waiting for the point or the punch line, thinking, “This better be good.” In the story about Jesus healing the ten lepers and the one who returned, the punch line is here:

“And he was a Samaritan.”

Luke is always trying to show us that God's love extends to folks on the margins. In this story, he goes a step further. The Samaritan is not only loved by God, he is a model of faith! He – the least expected – is an example of how to respond to God's mercy.

What are our attitudes toward marginalized people? Do we see them as the recipients of our charity and offerings? Do we have pity for “the least of these?” Do we pat ourselves on the back as we serve them?

Luke invites us to change our perspectives and to ask: “What are their strengths and gifts? How have they been blessed by God? What can I learn from them?”

Meredith Shaw

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Merciful God, shift my perspective to see the blessedness of all your children. Help me to humbly learn from others. Amen.

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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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