Call for Watson Fund Applications
by Paul Thigpen
Each one of the ten had a tale of personal horror to tell, but the stories were all the same.
The nightmare had crept slowly across their bodies: white patches, lumps in the skin. Then the numbness had crawled up their limbs, stealing the feeling from fingers and toes. Finally, the faces had grown disfigured beyond recognition, and all that remained of the feet were crippled nubs.
Worst of all were the jeers from the children whenever the men passed too near a village. “Lepers!” they screamed, spitting the word like a curse.
So long ago these ten had been young and handsome, healthy and well-to-do, full of desires and dreams. But that seemed like another world, another lifetime. Now they were the walking dead.
One morning, as they approached yet another village to beg, the crowds were cheering the name that for months had spread like a whispered wildfire through the leper colony: Jesus.
The leper-healer from Nazareth stood by the village well, not far from the twisted outcasts. And He was looking their way.
All at once ten hoarse voices erupted in unison: “Jesus! Master! Have pity on us!”
He smiled – the first smile turned in their direction for many years – and said simply, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”
He hadn’t even touched them. The ten examined one another. Clearly, nothing had changed. Were they once again the butt of a cruel joke?
One of them, a Samaritan, turned back to the road, set his face toward Jerusalem and the temple, and motioned for his comrades to join him. “If the priests throw me out,” he said, “then let the crowds stone me. What’s left to live for?”
He hobbled down the dusty path, his crutch making holes in the scorched clay. And as the others followed, the miracle came. They were cleansed. Suddenly. Totally. Unconditionally.
Nine men shouted and raced down the road like boys in a game, peeling off their rags to welcome the sunshine on their now childlike skin. They never even looked back, never saw again the face whose light had dawned on their darkness and ended their nightmare. But one man – the Samaritan – spun around, ran to Jesus, and flung himself at His feet. Tears spilled down cleansed cheeks. He looked up, trembling, and whispered two words.
New Newsletter Fall 2014 online
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 2:49 PM
Subject: Jenny Csinos Induction, plus…
Faith Forward: A conversation on Children, Youth, and the Future of Faith Formation. All Sunday school teachers, parents, pastors and youth leaders are invited to attend a FREE event hosted by First Baptist Church Halifax and Atlantic School of Theology. Everyone is welcome. Friday, October 24 from7:00-8:30 at Columba Chapel, Atlantic School of Theology (660 Francklyn St., Halifax). Book signing to follow.
Sent: Wednesday, October 1, 2014 10:49 AM
Subject: Paul Wattson Lecture – November 3, 2014
Manager, Communications & Alumni Relations
Atlantic School of Theology
A family that prays together derives strength, solace, and inspiration from that act of worship. A prayer group will gather in the minister’s study at 10 a.m each Sunday. All are welcome to join in this special time of fellowship. If you have any requests for prayers, please pass them along to Rev. Stright or Valerie Macdonald.
The World Council of Churches maintains an Ecumenical Prayer Cycle website.
Note: Bulletins are in “Recent News” at right on this page
Copyright permission for lections and scriptures has been received through the Vanderbilt Divinity library project in the following terms.
- Lectionary selections are reprinted from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright Â© 2005. Consultation on Common Texts, Augsburg Fortress Publishers. Reproduced by permission.
- Scripture texts are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright Â© 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. All rights reserved. Used with permission.