Luke 17:11-19 (NRSV)
Verse 11On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. Verse 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, Verse 13they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" Verse 14When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were made clean. Verse 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. Verse 16He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Verse 17Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Verse 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Verse 19Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well."
While chaperoning our youth group's most recent winter retreat, I noticed that every meal ended with someone on camp staff telling their faith story. Each person talked openly and passionately about Jesus' impact on their life. I was initially suspicious of these stories but was quickly disarmed by them. I heard stories not about prickly theological debates but about changed lives.
In today's gospel story, the healed Samaritan man praises God with a loud voice and prostrates himself at Jesus' feet. He publicly — and confidently — speaks of how God has changed his life.
Now, I do not have a conversion story where I changed from being "sick" to being "healed," but I still have a story to share of how God has shaped — even changed — my life.
What is one way your encounter with the living, healing God has molded you and made you into who you are?
Healing God, you freed the ten lepers from the clutches of leprosy. Teach us to speak of your healing work in our world today. Amen.