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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Start:Stop - I dare you to move

Bible reading

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. (Luke 17. 11 – 14)


As human beings we often find security in sameness, in repetition, and in things remaining the same. The result can be that we also remain the same and do not change. Change inevitably involves disruption and movement; something different needs to happen in order that we change. That is what Jesus called these ten lepers to experience.

They had been ostracised by society because of their condition and had banded together to support each other on the edge of society. In order to make the journey back from the edge of society, in their day, people had to be examined by a priest who could to confirm that their condition had been healed leading to their readmission to society. That is what Jesus told them to go and do but it is significant that they had not been healed at the point that he told them to go. He told them to move, to make a change, but they were not healed until they had begun to make the change and were on their way to see the priest.

Jesus brings the life of God into all that is stagnant in people’s lives. He is the catalyst for change. His arrival on the scene brings the opportunity for hope and faith; faith that life can be different, can be better than it is now.

As well as being willing to make a move, to change, they have also had to trust in Jesus and in his instructions. It would have been easy for them to say, 'I'm no different, I'm not healed, therefore there's no point in going to see the priest.' They could have stayed where they were in what had become familiar and safe for them. Instead they all set out on what was a risky undertaking where they could have been exposed to ridicule; as, if their healing had not occurred on the way, they could have gone to the priest and been turned away in disgrace as delusional lepers.

There will be points in all our lives where our experience will be similar. We will have been in one place, one job, one role or one way of doing and being for too long and we will be stagnating as a result. Something has to change in order that we grow and develop on new ways and in different aspects of our lives. Sometimes we recognise the situation and choose to change, sometimes the change is forced on us. However it begins and however resentful we might sometimes feel, the only way for us to experience growth and develop in this situation is to make the move and accept the change. While we may not be thankful at the time, often, with hindsight we can see that change was actually good and healing for us.

The rock band Switchfoot put it like this:

“The tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
Like today never happened before”


Change has come and there are many challenges to be faced and overcome. May we be equal to the task ahead of us, ready to renew ourselves, ready to take on the new, anxious to let go of old ideas that no longer fit, moving with confidence, into the future, your future. Make us strong enough to triumph, flexible enough to grow and change as needed, optimistic enough to see the new opportunities as we move into the changing landscape of our lives. May we accept and welcome the change that has come.

Change has come unbidden, and at times, unwelcome. May we be ready to embrace change and move swiftly forward.

Lord Jesus, you were the catalyst for change and the predictor of change for your first disciples. Help us to see you clearly in the challenges and changes of our times that you might also be our Lord and guide today. Transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace, and in the renewal of our lives make known your heavenly glory. Calm our concerns, show us new opportunities, and give us the freedom to discover ourselves afresh in serving you. Show us what you have stored up for us, and give us the courage to follow you.

Change has come unbidden, and at times, unwelcome. May we be ready to embrace change and move swiftly forward.

In the tension between who we are and who we could be, between how it is and how it should be; may we here your call daring us to lift ourselves up off the floor and to move like today never happened before.

Change has come unbidden, and at times, unwelcome. May we be ready to embrace change and move swiftly forward.


New opportunities, renewal of our lives, flexibility to grow, moving with confidence into the future, God’s heavenly glory made known. May all those blessings of almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, rest upon you and remain with you always. Amen.


Switchfoot - Dare You To Move.

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