Do you need a new lens of faith?

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Rev. Walter Klockers

For years I used the “monovision” method (a single contact lens instead of two). That lens would go on the dominant eye, for distance vision.

The other eye, without a lens, was tasked with reading and dealing with other things up close. I know this may sound a bit strange, but it worked for me for a long time. It took my brain about six weeks to successfully make the adjustment. Once that happened, it worked very well.

A few months back I found it necessary to make a change. I decided to try glasses — progressive trifocals. Once again, time was needed for adaptation. At first, things seemed very strange. For quite some time, I had the habit of raising and lowering my head a lot to get things into focus. Also, it was challenging to see what my feet were doing, especially on stairs or stepping off a curb and onto the street. I tripped more than a few times.

Now that I have finally grown accustomed to my trifocals, my head doesn’t bob as much, and I feel more comfortable managing footwork. All of this involved making adjustments to things close up, middle distance, and far away.

In the 17th chapter of Luke’s Gospel, we find the story of Jesus healing 10 lepers. Jesus told them to go to the priests (the authority that would examine them to see if they were completely rid of their disease). As they went to do so they were healed.

What was surprising was that only one, upon seeing his miraculous transformation, returned. He then threw himself at Jesus’ feet in a posture of reverence, thanksgiving, and worship. It turns out that he was not a Jew, like Jesus. He was a Samaritan, a foreigner. What can we gather from this exchange? There are a lot of things to consider. Among them, one could assume that some (if not all) of the others were Jewish.

The irony is that the one furthest from Jesus’ lineage saw the truth and expressed thanksgiving. This former leper now saw clearly. What once was deemed to be too distant (a Jewish Messiah only for the Jewish people) came into surprising focus (a Messiah for all).

If our view is that God does not love us – that we are somehow too far away – we need a new prescription.

Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 25 years.

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