Submitted by Jan on Tue, 08/10/2013 – 11:24
Year C (2012-2013)
Bible Book: Luke / Lukas
Chapter: 17
Verse: 11 – 19

A friend wrote a very cryptic message on his Facebook wall. He was referring to this much read text, and suddenly brought something new to my understanding of the text. He wrote:

“Affliction brings distance: they were distant, asking for Jesus’ mercy; he was at a distance, telling them to show themselves to the priests; and they were further away from Jesus when they got healed.”

“Worship and praise breaks the barriers or distance: when healed, the foreigner (Samaritan) came to Jesus praising God and worshiped – lying prostate at his feet in gratitude.”

“Lord, break this distance!”

I started thinking about the labels that bring distance in our lives: The labels of race and origin, the labels of gender and sexual orientation, the labels of faith and tradition, the labels of disease and affliction. I thought of how we increase and increase and increase the distance between us and others by increasingly label others.

I thought of his prayer “Lord, break this distance” and how we can break down the distance the labels bring. And I thought about the prayer by John van de Laar (Sacredise):

The Ones We Long For
In a world that too easily wounds and breaks,
we long for those who will heal and restore;

In a world that too easily divides and dissects,
we long for those who will unify and interweave;

In a world that too easily excludes and judges,
we long for those who will include and understand;

And in a world where your call, O God, can still be heard,
we long for the courage to answer,
and to be the ones we long for.
Amen.

We can only break down the distance between us if we tear away the labels of society and see others as ‘created in the image of God’.

To think about: Are you and your faith community the “ones we long for”? In which way do you add to the labels in your community, or help tear them down?

Written by: Lyn van Rooyen, CABSA Director

Author: van Rooyen L (Ms)
Language: English

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