My thoughts (Vivian Wyatt):
Did you read today’s passage? If you have or if you haven’t, I’d like for you to read it now slowly. Then picture the scenario with me. Think about it, get into it. What must it have been like?
First, Jesus encounters ten lepers. My goodness, one would have been enough; with limbs that have rotted off, noses that have fallen from faces, sores and disfigurement. And to top it off, the stench of all that rotted putrid flesh. One leper smelled badly but ten must have been an assault to the nostrils.
Beth Moore, in her book “Jesus the One and Only,” tells of a time she was in the vicinity of a modern day leper colony. She felt compelled to go inside to tell the Good News. However, three times she walked to the entrance and three times she turned away. Why? The smell was so overwhelming that she thought she would be violently ill. She never did visit there.
Think about it. This was in modern times, with medicine, bandages, and disinfectant. What must it have been like in Jesus’ day? Perhaps that’s why Jesus didn’t waste any time. “When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’”
“And as they went, they were made clean.” Isn’t that amazing? “As they went . . .” The healing hadn’t started until they headed toward the priests; stepping out in faith because Jesus said to. Imagine what it must have felt like as you noticed a sore healing, a toe growing back, your face no longer drooping.
I can see, in my mind’s eye, this one man who had endured leprosy for a long time. He hadn’t seen his family in years, had forgotten what it felt like to be hugged by a child or to kissed by a woman. He had smelled badly for so long that the stench had become a friend. He had watched his body wither and shrink as his body parts dropped off. He really didn’t expect much from Jesus; but since everyone else was going toward the priests, he thought he would go, too. But then, wonder of wonders, the hairs on his arms were no longer white but brown, and there was a tingling where there was no toe only a moment before. He began to stand straighter as his body regained its full vigor. He had to turn around. He could not help himself.
Haven’t you had a moment like that? A moment when something went so right, when you thought it was going wrong, that you simply had to stop what you were doing and cry out “Thank you, Jesus!”
Prayer for the day: God, help me to live with an attitude of gratitude, giving thanks for all the things you do for me. Amen
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.