Daily Devotion 12 May 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Luke 17: 11-19 ‘The Grateful and the Ungrateful’

11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13 they called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ 14 When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were made clean. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16 He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18 Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ 19 Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.’

Strolling on the Downs recently, someone had obviously been at work with the many chunks of chalk lying around. Can you make out the ‘NHS’ surrounded by two hearts? I doubt whether this would be visible from Jevington or Willingdon; I doubt whether it would be visible well from the air either, and besides, who’s flying at the moment?  Whoever arrayed these stones in this simple message of love and appreciation must have simply felt inspired to do purely for its own sake (and perhaps the odd passer-by).  And who doesn’t feel great thanks at every story of healing, effort, support, and ingenuity which we hear about from those who work in the NHS, social care, and key industries.

Feel free to take to the hillsides and arrange stones; feel free to stand at your door and applaud and whistle and cheer (I whistle).  Above all, give thanks in your heart for the gifts of love and sacrifice which are profoundly expressed by so many, even to the point of risking and losing life.

All ten lepers were healed, but only one gave thanks.  It feels unsatisfactory – that something is missing for the nine, as if they had only a physical healing experience but somehow missed out being made fully whole.  The one enjoyed this: a healing of body and a heart full of thanksgiving too.  In these times, may we be receive graciously, and give thanks generously in return.

Prayer:

Tender and loving God
May we never take for granted the gifts and sacrifices of others,
May we never receive lightly that which has been a costly gift to give.
May we have hearts full of praise for your goodness, Lord,
and learn anew to thank our brothers and sisters who resemble your giving Son. AMEN.

Image, Reflection and Prayer all © 2020 Paul Tabraham.
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