Pause

Sit still. Take a deep breath. Listen to these words.

You are beloved.

Let those words reverberate throughout your being. Let them echo in your mind and whisper in your soul. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more or make God love you less.

This is the healing power of Christ Jesus.

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Listen

On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men with skin diseases approached him. Keeping their distance from him, they raised their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, show us mercy!”

When Jesus saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” As they left, they were cleansed.

Luke 17:11-14

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Think

Have you ever felt like the outsider? Pushed away from all the other kids because something makes you different? Or maybe you know someone you would consider an outsider. Do they sit alone at lunch? Do they stand away from everyone before school or after school when you are all waiting for the bus?

If we take a moment and look around, we will notice that “outsiders” are everywhere. We even see them in the Bible. Ironically, those that are excluded are the very ones Jesus most often chooses to include.

Even in our story today, Jesus is making his way toward Jerusalem and is just weeks away from the pain of the cross, but even as his impending death looms in front of him Jesus sees a group of lepers. The text actually says, “he saw them.” He does not avert his eyes or look away; instead he responds to their pain with mercy and kindness. Those the world deemed invisible or unworthy Jesus saw, spoke with, and healed.

Kelli Kirksey

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Pray

Dear God, thank you for showing me how to love. Thank you for teaching me to look around and find those who’ve been left out by society, friends, or school. Help me to have the eyes to see and the courage to stand with those who feel alone in this world. Amen.

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Go

You are seen.

You are known.

You are loved to the very depths of your being.

Now go and share that love with the world.

This is the healing power of Christ Jesus in you.

Amen.

Kelli Kirksey

Kelli Kirksey lives in Greenville, SC where she serves as a member and deacon at Augusta Road Baptist Church. She is married to Will Kirksey and has four children.

Piano Sonata No. 8 In C Minor For Piano, Op. 13

Garry Bailey

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