Why does familiarity breed contempt? Why can't we keep love and gratitude going? Why do they just wither and turn sour as the years go by?
These gloomy reflections are prompted by reading the story of a bunch of lepers, living on the borders between Galilee and Samaria. 9 of them were Jews, one was a Samaritan. They were more united by their suffering than divided by their ethnicity.
But they weren't united in gratitude. When Jesus heals the whole bunch of them, the Jews all skip off without a care in the world. Only the Samaritan falls to his knees and pours out his thanks.
But it's the Jews who have got God. It's the Jews who look down their noses at the half-caste Samaritans, and despise them for their faint-hearted religion. It's the Jews who are the inheritors of all the wonderful promises of God, from Abraham onwards.
So why can't they say thank you? Why has familiarity bred contempt? Why is this sour, bitter-minded saying so depressingly true?
Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?