Can you remember being told by your parents to say “please” and “thank you?” These two phrases are the beginning of learning manners and should stick with us throughout our lives. Unfortunately, they don’t. It can be frustrating and hurtful to do something special for someone and not receive a word of thanks for your effort.
Today is Thanksgiving in America, a time normally spent around tables laden with food made from family recipes that have been handed down for generations. This year, however, many are not gathering together due to the pandemic. Some of us are struggling with feeling any gratitude this year.
Jesus can relate.
Luke 17 (Contemporary English Version)
11 On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus went along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men with leprosy came toward him. They stood at a distance 13 and shouted, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
14 Jesus looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”
On their way they were healed. 15 When one of them discovered that he was healed, he came back, shouting praises to God. 16 He bowed down at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was from the country of Samaria.
17 Jesus asked, “Weren’t ten men healed? Where are the other nine? 18 Why was this foreigner the only one who came back to thank God?” 19 Then Jesus told the man, “You may get up and go. Your faith has made you well.”
Only one thought to return with a word of thanks. Who knows what was in the minds of the others? Were they just so joyful to be healed that they couldn’t help themselves? Did they rush off to be reunited with their families? Remember that lepers lived in complete isolation. Imagine how life-changing this was for them. Thanks to the pandemic, I think we can relate a little to what isolation feels like.
But Jesus deserved their thanks. And he deserves ours.
There are other things we can create from family recipes. We can share memories by letter or by phone. We can show off our tables by ZOOM and Facebook. We can encourage one another that next year will be different. We can leave food at a neighbor’s house who is struggling financially or dealing with COVID 19. We can flood the food pantries with financial donations.
We can give thanks to our Maker that we are alive to grumble and complain about everything!
I know it is cliche to “go around the table and say what you are thankful for,” but do it anyway.
I am thankful everyday for YOU. When you read, comment, and especially when you share these devotionals, you are helping God’s word spread throughout the world, which is the only reason I do this.
When it’s my turn around the table today, I will be thanking God for his Word and for all of you who turn to it every day.