Sunday Night Musing: Thankful Lepers

In Luke 17:11-19 we hear the story of 10 lepers living on the border region between Samaria and Galilee. It's kind of a line of demarcation between two bitter enemies, each considering the other to be outcasts. And this group of lepers were outcasts of outcasts.

They approach Jesus and ask to be healed. Jesus tells them to go see the priest (a requirement to prove cleanliness for being able to be in society as well as worship after being "unclean"). They go. Then they are healed. It's an interested sequence of events. They are healed after they obey Jesus.

One of them notices that he was healed and turns back. He happens to be a Samaritan (ie. "the bad guy"). He falls at Jesus' feet and praises God. Jesus tells him that his faith has saved him (some translations use "healed" but I'm told the Greek word is more than just a physical healing).

I've written before about a former mentor's quote: "Gratitude evaporates frustration."

I think we could also add: "Gratitude propels blessings."

When we give thanks, it opens our hearts. We become aware of the blessings around us. I think there may be occasions where it also places us in positions to receive fuller blessing. All ten were healed. Only one was saved.

We try and make it a practice each day to reflect on what we're thankful for with our children. I don't do it enough during the day, though. And I tend to look at the surface level: Thank You for the nice weather, for our food, for our home, for our family, etc.

Sometimes, even in the midst of something amazing like being healed, I can forget to give thanks. Sometimes I can focus on the negative in an event and forget to give thanks for the positive that also happened.

The one who came back didn't just say thanks in his heart; he said it out loud amidst a flurry of worship. So I'm trying to let the Samaritan remind me to give thanks more, and also to pray for mercy. Both are good. Both are needed.

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How about you? What are you thankful for? I'd love for the comment thread on this post to be a place to list our thanksgivings.

1 comment:

Rev. Dave said...

I'll get the ball rolling:

I'm thankful for a weekend of solitude and hiking in the woods and a wonderful wife who encouraged me to go.