We are told from the time that we are small to be careful of strangers. As we grow older, some of that fear seems to remain. We continue to be wary around those we do not know or those that are different than us. All we need do is to turn on the morning news and see this fear being trumpeted (no pun intended) and promoted in many ways.
Recently, the presidential debates have given me pause. We see people pandering for votes by demeaning others. We watch as people shout and scream about how horrible the other candidates are. We witness the candidates demean groups of people and try to fill us with fear about what may happen to us if we don’t act.
I was reading in the Gospel of Luke this morning and was reminded of what happens when we keep our minds open. We can be surprised by the other. In Luke 17, 10 lepers get the attention of Jesus. Jesus sends them to the priests to show themselves and on the way they are healed. 10 of them are healed but only one comes back to give thanks.. A SAMARITAN.
No…it can’t be…. that would be like 10 people being given something from the church and only the Mexican immigrant coming back to say thanks. Or perhaps it would be like 10 people given job training at the church and only the homeless guy from the inner city coming back and giving thanks.
We are so fearful about people that look different than us and act different than us and perhaps sound different than us that we become easy marks for the politicians. They feed on that fear and continue to divide us by religions, politics, gender, race, etc. Enough is enough.
Let’s spend more time giving thanks for what God has given us and less time fearing the “other”. At the end of the day, Jesus is the Messiah for not only you but THEM as well.
Don’t let fear win.
Let your faith make you well.