"First Things First "
Pastor Laura Guy
November 18, 2007
Here's an instant replay of what happened in worship:
- We thought about the difference between rejoicing in our good fortune and being thankful.
- We heard the story of the Ten Lepers, found in Luke 17:11-19. Any kind of contagious skin condition was called leprosy, and anyone who contracted it had to be isolated from the rest of the community. Lepers lived outside the city and had to yell at passersby to beg for food. Whenever they were around other people, they had to cover their faces and yell, "Unclean!" so people would clear the streets. Even their own families were afraid to go near them.
- We noticed that when the 10 lepers yelled to Jesus to help them, the text says Jesus "saw" them. He didn't just notice them, he saw them and had compassion on them. He told them to go to the priests. The priests were the only ones who could give lepers a clean bill of health that would allow them back into the community. In other words, Jesus was saying, "Go do the thing you would do if you were healed - act as if you are healed." As the men were on their way, the sores on their bodies disappeared. They were healed! They could get their lives back! They raced to the priests so they could begin their new lives. Except for one man. One man, a Samaritan, "saw" that he was healed, and returned to give thanks to Jesus. While the nine others rejoiced in their good fortune, one man was truly thankful.
- We learned about a band in Texas called "10th Leper." The band's website says that the band members were each saved from a "spiritual leprosy" and now they want to live thankful lives. They mainly play their music inside prisons and share their stories with prisoners. What would it look like if we lived "10th leper" lives?
- We prayed that God would help us to "see" how we have been healed of spiritual leprosy so that we might live "10th leper" lives.
- We celebrated communion at the table of love and mercy.