What Makes Community?
Scripture Reading — Luke 17:11-19
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God...
On the border between Samaria and Galilee there lived ten lepers, suffering together because of their disease. Was the group made up of both Samaritans and Galileans? Under normal conditions the two groups avoided each other. But these were not normal conditions and it wouldn't have been the first time that a shared suffering made allies out of former enemies.
What did the nine do after they discovered that their flesh had become healthy again? I'm sure their "gotta-go-tell" lists included more than just the priests! There were probably many happy homes that evening!
But only one came back to thank Jesus. Jesus then said that his faith made him well. Does that mean he was the only one who had faith? Perhaps. All we know for sure is that he was the only one to show gratitude.
What if all ten had come back together? What a party that would have been! Those who had suffered together and had been healed together could have praised God together. That would have been some kind of worshipping community!
Do you belong to a community like that? You do if you belong to a Christian church-a community scarred by sin, blessed with healing, and called to thanksgiving. I hope your church really is like that-finding unity and joy in the things that matter.
<p>Make our churches places of joy and thanksgiving, Lord. Help us acknowledge our shared suffering, delight in our shared healing, and offer you shared thanksgiving. Amen.</p>