I knew we wanted to ‘major’ on Jesus and I was irresistibly drawn to Luke. As the only non-Jew writer in the Bible Luke comes with an outsider’s slant on the Good News. As we have slowly made our way through the Gospel of Luke one of the things that struck us was the re-occurrence of the Samaritans in the story. The Samaritans were a despised, ignored or at the best tolerated race in the midst of territorial Israel. On my first explanation of the Samaritans and the view Jews of that day had of them, one of my friends suggested that we (Street Hope) were much like them. Though we exist right in the centre of the city we often feel quite marginalized like the Samaritans.
We have developed a kind of kinship with Luke because of the special attention he gives to the inclusion of ‘outsiders’ in the Kingdom of God. Luke includes Jesus emphasis on the least, the last, and the lost. Beginning with a teen age young woman, going on to shepherds, Samaritans, lepers, tax collectors and ending with a thief on a cross, Luke faithfully records the Good News to the poor and marginalized.
Just this week we studied the story of the ten folks who were healed of leprosy and how only one returned to give thanks and he was a Samaritan. I have often heard this story told at Thanksgiving time with the moral being that we should feel thankful. I suspect that all ten felt thankful. The difference was that one acted thankful. God wants our activity! Jesus calls us to an active faith. He does not only say believe in me, though that is vital. He says “Follow me.” This requires activity! All ten were healed of leprosy but the one who acted received much more. Jesus said to him “Your faith has made you well” He was not merely healed of leprosy but he was made well. What this ‘wellness’ looked like we do not know but we are left in no doubt that it is a deeper and better result than was received by the other nine.
At Street Hope we put a high value on “performing acts of kindness in the power of the Holy Spirit” We believe that such activity reflects well on Jesus who we serve, it blesses others and that we receive a deeper and better healing as we actively pursue the way of Christ.
Society may marginalize us but Christ includes us and invites us to fully and actively participate in His Kingdom.
Monday we are cooking and serving our second meal at an ‘Out Flow’ dinner. The plan is to meet and pray, then pare and chop and cook, and then serve 120+ a Labour Day repast. The materials to do this are proving expensive but the benefits are so great! We are trusting God to supply all our needs. If you would like to help financially just send a cheque to Threshold Ministries and mark ‘Street Hope Saint John’ in the memo section.
God is calling all of us to higher service and deeper healing!