Wandering through the Word
A Lectionary Tease
The Rev. Leslie M. St. Louis
Both our Old Testament Lesson and our Gospel deal with the healing of lepers this week. In our lesson from Kings, Namaan is sent to Elisha to be healed of his lepersy but he fusses and fumes that the great prophet has not paid enough attention to him and given him something too simple to really be a cure. In our Gospel lesson, Jesus heals ten lepers but only one returns to give thanks to God for his healing.
I wonder as I read and reread these texts, what does healing really look like? Do we expect it to come tied up in a package with a big red bow, would we know it if it came quietly alongside us and ushered us into a new way of life? Do we expect that healing means a total remission of whatever is making us ill or might it be accepted as a shift in us about our dis-ease?
I wonder as well just who are the dis-eased in our world today? I am reminded of the TB sanatoriums of the early 1900s and the leper colony on the island of Molokai; how people were separated from society for fear of the diseases. Who is it that we seek to remove from our midst in this time? And what does the healing look like now?
“Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”
These are the words we will gather under this Sunday, let your grace precede and follow us. May we approach those who are in need of healing with the tangibility of your grace and when we leave them may the long flowing shadow of that very same grace hold them.