Friday, October 11, 2019

For Sunday 10/13/19 - Give Thanks

Photo by Mayur Gala on Unsplash

Luke 17:11–19 NRSV

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 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. 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.”

Reflection on the Lectionary:

I have been in the therapist's and pastor's chair enough years now to easily recognize when I am about to hear, once again, someone's story of being unworthy and unclean before God and the world.  Typically, it will be condescension and/or condemnation from a parent or church people/leaders or a teacher or some other person in authority.  The trauma that these authorities injected into the person's soul haunted them into worthlessness and tormented their lives for decades.  The healing process I initiate with the person is asking them to recall their early experiences with God.  In our subsequent work, the individual eventually reconnects to the unconditionally loving accepting energy of the God they met in childhood and how they felt treasured.  In time, which may often be weeks or months or years later, I will ask a follow-up question.  What can you tell me now of the God of your understanding?  Often I will hear in reply, "I am who I am.  I am a good person and deserve to be happy.  God always loved me even when others could not or would not.  God loves me now.  God will always love me forever more."  In my thoughts resound the words, "....your faith has made you well."

Brad Shumate
Free of Encumbrance
Eugene, Oregon