Foreign

Luke 17:11-19

Just one, just one comes back giving thanks and this one is a foreigner. The Samaritans were a mix of Jew and the people of Persia from the Babylonian captivity. Their worship had become a combination of the people they were forced to mix with and Judaism. So they were considered impure. Not true followers of the faith, even though they were still related.

This is not just a simple thank you. This is gratitude from someone who didn't believe they should receive forgiveness. Someone from the margins of society who didn't think they probably deserved this extravagance. So they don't run home, they come all the way back to Jesus and thank him.

A journey of thanksgiving. Its not the act of healing which brought it totally about. Its the act of healing this one, the one on the outside of acceptance. The one outside of the Jewish community of faith. The one who shouldn't have received it. We shouldn't be surprised by this though. Luke gives us examples of this all through its gospel story. Reaching out and beyond the Jewish community.

Luke is the only gospel who gives us the story of the good Samaritan. Luke is the only gospel who gives us the story of the prodigal son. Luke is the only gospel who tells us about Jesus birth through his mother, Mary's experience. It is always reaching out beyond the boundaries and we shouldn't be surprised by this. The gospel writer says this in Jesus first sermon in the synagogue at Nazareth, that he has come to "proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" which includes release to those captive and sight to those who are blind. To be with those who are on the margins. Those lost from regular society. Luke pushes us there in many stories.

So today I today want us to picture being the givers of the extravagance. Because Luke's gospel is pushing us toward this good news. Just because you sit outside my community doesn't mean you should go hungry, or not be healed, or not be prayed for, or not... The picture on this could be so wide. Jesus intends for us to reach beyond ourselves and this is good news. Because each time we delve into this we learn more about ourselves, more about God, more about the good news.

Don't be afraid to reach beyond the borders. Dare to face each part of the day. Who have I ignored, who have I hurt, who do I need to reach out to? If we begin here we may push ourselves to the borders, just as Luke's writer wanted us to be pushed. Come and make the journey.