Date: October 9, 2016
SCRIPTURE: JEREMIAH 29:1, 4
7; LUKE 17: 11
GRACE COVENANT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, ASHEVILLE, NC
October 9, 2016
The Rev. Dr. Marcia Mount Shoop, Pastor
17:11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region
17:12 As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance,
17:13 they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
17:14 When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the prie
And as they went, they were made clean.
17:15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God
with a loud voice.
17:16 He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan.
17:17 Then Jesus asked
, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are
17:18 Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this
17:19 Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you
The Word of the L
Thanks be to God
It was fourth grade for Ella Bounds when everything changed.
A routine visit with
the doctor to get her yearly shots revealed a skin lesion on her
leg. The doctor pricked it with a needl
e and she felt nothing.
A few days later,
in a one room school house
Abita Springs, LA
A truck pulls up and a man gets out with a gun. He tells the teacher to pick up Ella
bring her outside.
Ella saw a big word on the side of the truck that she didn’t understand. The man in
drove her to her house whe
re he told her father that
he had to take Ella
away. The word on the truck was Quarantine.
It was the 1920s and Ella had leprosy. They took her to Carville, LA and she never
saw her family again.
Ella lived out her days at
Carville among hundreds of other people with leprosy or
Leprosy, a bacteria of
ons; a disease that
k its victims out of
community, that so terrified people
grade children, were taken from
their homes a
nd families and were impri
soned way past the margins of society
People suffering from Hansen’s disease
in the continental United States
brought to Carville like criminals, often in shackles. They lost their right to vote,
their right to freedom, th
eir right to own pro
perty, to legally marry, to raise
And they could never leave.
Carville was the country’s cure for leprosy
those afflicted were
those not afflicted cou
ld stay safely away from them. Thousands of years of fear,
bias, and judgment defined collective reactions
many saw leprosy as God’s
judgment for sin, a moral disease that marked the unclean.
Carville was all about
risk abatement for those who counted th
emselves the lucky ones
or even the
Jesus was no stranger to this disease that created outcasts, this affliction that helped
define the margins of ancient Middle Eastern society.
He encounters ten
people with leprosy
an encampment on his
journey to Jerusalem.
The afflicted were to stand outside the bounds of their community and shout to
thers “unclean” to warn
others to stay away from them.
Those marked as unclean were drafted into the risk abatement business
to use their
voices to protect others from their fate.
the ten, shouting to him
not to stay away from them, but for
mercy. “Master, have mercy on us.”
These ten see a powerful possibility in Jesus
and shouting something they are not
supposed to is worth the risk. This is the first time we hear people who were not