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 Jesus’ feet and thanked Him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to 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
It’s a familiar story…and a common one in the day. People ask; Jesus heals. Praise Him for being so gracious to us!
But, on this eve of Thanksgiving, I am thinking about the lepers themselves.
One of ten was thankful. That is a dismal return. We look for better batting averages if we are to keep a player on the team.
Why don’t we get thankfulness? Why don’t we look around and see what we have and not what we don’t?
In our sin and sloth, we seek an easy return for our labor. But that pathway was burned to us in the garden. Perhaps we spend the rest of our lives seeking to regain what we as humanity have lost (perfection). That, however is unattainable.
At least here on earth.
The pathway is clear, the invitation has been made. Not for Thanksgiving dinner, or some holiday party, but for eternal life!
We messed up, and continue to do so, but in His graciousness, He continues to offer healing…forever healing…in the person of Jesus Christ.
In that we can ALL glory.
So, this Thanksgiving, I glory first and foremost that He lives and that He loves me…even me. I have many, many other reasons to be thankful, but without the framework of life in Christ, without the healing that He has brought, and continues to bring, to my soul, I can be no better than the nine who walked away.
I pray that as I look at my life and all its bounty, I can beat the odds and show thankfulness for all the gifts God has blessed me with: home, health, family, love, safety, security, joy, peace…and salvation!
I pray you can, too.
2 thoughts on “Thankfulness: Beating the Odds”
Thanks Liz for your “Thankfulness” e-mail. At our Sparks meeting this week, I had the small worship service that we have at the end and I did it on the 10 lepers. The kids were so quiet during this time until I shouted “Jesus have mercy” and they about jumped out of their seats. Afterwards each child was given a heart that said “I’m thankful for – and they could color things or print people’s names. The only problem I had with this was that the Kindergartners and 1st grade kids have difficulty printing out things, so we had to spell out names and things they were thankful for so they could finish their “thanksgiving heart”. Praying that all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We’ll be with Eric and his family in the Valley, but have to come home in the evening because I have asked three people to help me decorate the church for the Advent season and on Saturday I’m ringing the bell for Salvation Army in front of Walmart. Love doing this, a joy to my heart when people come by and drop in their money and I thank them for their love gift. In His grip, Sue
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:23:56 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz, I think of you and the boys often. I am now retired and Sharon has graduated from UNC at Chapel Hill. She is working in Huntsville, AL for Northrop Grumman. Best wishes to you and the boys for a wonderful Christmas and New Year.