Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sun. Oct. 14 (J. Evan Kreider)

Evan Krieder spoke on Luke 17:11-19 regarding the story of the ten lepers who were healed, but only one of whom turned back to give thanks to God for the healing. Evan began with a Jewish prayer for healing, then moved through the passage in Luke, identifying how horrified the population was by lepers or anyone with skin conditions, and what steps were taken to separate them from clean society. The very people and places that would give succour to lepers were off limits to them. Jesus heals the lepers in the story, but does so at a distance, asking them to walk away, and to purify themselves at the temple to complete their healing. Yet one, and only one, a Samaritan, (foretelling God’s grace being opened to Gentiles in Acts) turned back to give thanks to God, and to Jesus. Jesus, with the stunning words “Your faith has made you well”completed the leper’s healing on the spot. Evan noted parallels between lepers going to the temple, and our practice of going to the hospital, also done in faith. Although this story is overtly about healing, it is does far more to illustrate gratitude to the grace of God. Though God’s grace is freely given to all, few remain grateful to God for long. Jesus could cure leprosy, but not even Jesus could cure ingratitude. We all know (or perhaps have felt ourselves) that we would do anything for healing, and we beg God for those chances, but how quickly we forget our promises - we remain untransformed. Yet some are transformed, and Evan pointed out how people even in our own congregation lived transformed lives of gratitude after life-threatening events. Evan led a response by the congregation by singing Now Thank We All Our God by Johann Crüger, written during the 30-years war when Crüger’s pastor was burying 40-50 people per day in a powerful time of grief. [AP] Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday Oct. 14th using your browser's preferred media player.



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