That is the title of a recent post by Pastor Janet Hunt, one of Church Innovations’ Associated Trainers in the Six Missional Practices. In her post on the Luke 17:11-19 passage she writes,
“I find myself thinking of the ‘faith of the outsider’ this week as we pause in the familiar story of Jesus’ healing of the ten lepers now. For while are surely called to focus on the powerful gift of Jesus’ healing as demonstrated in this story, what stands out is the grateful response of the one. The Samaritan.”
Following a recap of a Dwelling in the World workshop she co-led in DeKalb, IL, she concluded:
“Perhaps by now you are wondering what any of this has to do with the Gospel story which is ours to share this week. Just this:
- Without a doubt, God was already at work in the life of the Samaritan so that unlike the rest, he offered a grateful response to the unexpected gift of life restored that he received at the hands of Jesus. And I wonder how God might already be at work in the lives of strangers we encounter every day. Indeed, I do wonder how we might become more aware of that wondrous work. Even as thirty Lutherans did last Saturday morning.
- And this: I wonder about how God already be at work in the life of someone we least expect who we might just encounter. Who would be a Samaritan — an outsider — in your community, neighborhood, congregation? And how might you engage them enough to hear how God may be at work?
- And also this: Jesus offered a gift of profound healing to the ten who approached him that day. I wonder how you and I might be agents of such healing in our world today. Indeed, in a world too often marked by fear and division, might healing just be ours to offer (and in turn, receive) if we simply reached out with a word of kindness, curiosity, or affirmation even to someone we have never seen before who we may never see again? Or to one whom we have passed by a thousand times (as those ten lepers must have been passed by a thousand, thousand times) without even noticing before?
- And finally this: More than just receiving physical healing, the ten lepers were actually restored to community by the healing they received. How might we be called to restore others to community by simply engaging them? Even in casual conversation. Even now.”
“Indeed, perhaps one of the best gifts of a practice like Dwelling in the World is that it invites us to look outside of ourselves to see where God might just be at work in the world. Even as God was at work in the Samaritan who returned giving thanks so long ago. Can you just imagine how we might all be changed by more intentionally Dwelling in the World God made and God so loves? Wouldn’t that be something to see? Isn’t that something you want to be a part of, too?”
Click here to read the full post.