Sermon given at Pytchley Proper 23 Yr C 9.10.16
Readings: OT/Epistle 2 Timothy 2: 8-15 Gospel Luke 17: 11-19
Think about how it feels to be excluded.
- Excluded by illness or disability.
- Excluded by sin from relationship with God.
Leprosy and sin are similar, both destroy or damage relationships and keep us away from one another and from God.
Samaritans had an uneasy relationship with the Jews after centuries of distrust – we probably don’t have to think too hard before coming up with groups of people who don’t trust one another today. Distrust is very negative, and it can prevent people and communities from flourishing.
Being able to return to your community makes you feel
- Warm, loved, accepted
- Able to participate
When relationships are restored
- People are glad to have you back
- The community feels whole & complete again
All 10 lepers were healed – but only 1 returned to thank Jesus.
A miraculous healing doesn’t always bring people closer to Jesus. Some people, like the 9 lepers, just enjoy getting on with life.
Let’s look at what the bible says the 1 leper did.
- Praised God with a loud voice = us coming to church on Sundays to worship the Lord which keeps us close to Him, it’s also a public declaration of our faith as we’re seen and known to go to church.
- Prostrated himself at Jesus’s feet = accepting Jesus as our king, doing our best to live according to his kingdom rules.
- Thanked him – best way to thank Jesus is by giving him our lives as a glad response of gratitude.
Returning to Jesus strengthens our relationship with him and helps us to live his way, to his glory and everyone else’s benefit.
Hence Jesus’s comment: “Your faith has made you well”.
The word he used for “rise/get up” has connotations of resurrection, restoration, ie healing & new life.
Being thankful, expressing our thanks to people, generates warm feelings and cements relationships within our families and our communities. It’s very important – and singing hymns of praise is one way of thanking God for all he does for us!