Between Sundays for Week of October 10, 2022
Social scientists teach us that gratitude is good for us. It improves our outlook and impacts our health. Scores of articles and books have been written on this theme. Many of us have heard of (and perhaps even practiced) the lasting benefits of a gratitude journal.
On Sunday, we heard a story about Jesus healing and a man giving thanks. Jesus welcomes our gratitude might be our take-away from this reading, but Pastor Amy suggests that is probably incomplete. Giving thanks is about far more than good manners and personal wellbeing. Jesus commends the leper who gives thanks because he is the one who sees that GOD has reached into this world through Jesus and brought healing and restoration to him.
As Jesus sees the men calling to him for mercy and the Samaritan leper sees what God has done for him through the power and presence of Jesus! We are called to see what God is up to in our world and to speak our thanks for all who have ears to hear! When we do this, we continue to show the world God’s majestic and wonderful deeds, God’s grace and mercy. And God’s praise continues to be proclaimed from age to age!
So, that is our invitation this week. Where do you see God’s wondrous work revealed? In a world where so much of evil and destruction is visible and named, where do you see God’s mercy revealed and God’s righteousness stand? What do you see that leads you to raise your hallelujah?
The Samaritan man knew what we often forget. God’s praise endures forever when we see the Lord’s work in the world and in our lives, and we pause to share our thanks and praise!
“Thank you!” We’re taught to say these words as children and social scientists teach us today about the lasting benefits of gratitude. In her reflection, Pastor Amy reminds us that thanksgiving is about more than good manners or personal wellbeing. Every time we name our thanksgiving we are pointing to another moment of God’s revelation in this world that God so loves!
Meister Eckhart said, “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” If we begin there, with a simple thank you to God, then the rest will follow. Thanks first. Thanks always. Thanks in everything. One of the greatest gifts we can give to each other in Christian community is that of helping one another cultivate a spirit of gratitude. If we do this, the glad hearts and generous spirits will follow. After all, gratitude begets more gratitude, and the more gratitude you have the more abundance you see. Begin by saying “Thank you, Jesus.” That is enough. Really. – Sharron Riessinger Blezard