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Reflections for the editor

July 28, 2021

By Bill Braun 

After reading MDS Executive Director Kevin Kings reflection on Luke 17:11-19, MDS volunteer Bill Braun penned the following thoughts.

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesusfeet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19)

Many years ago, Dr. Tim Geddert, who teaches New Testament at Fresno Pacific University, presented a devotional on this text, particularly drawing attention to the opening lines that Jesus was traveling “on the border between.” That recognition has stuck with me over the years.

It seems to me this is what MDS does quite well: walking the border between—between those with sufficient resources and those with few, between those with relative security and those with little security, many times between those of the dominant cultural group and those of any number of under-represented groups.

It is often also between those of different geographic areas, or nearly always between denomination/conference groups. 

I’m sure each person can think of more “border” situations, and find in the example of Jesus a motivation to also walk in the border area, whether that’s very near our own homes or sometimes within our families.

I give thanks that MDS is such a fine example of how we constructively bridge differences with a maximum of activity and a minimum of intentional conversation. Keep up the good work in the spirit of a Christ-centered thankfulness.

Bill Braun lives in Fresno, California.