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Sermon: Thank Him!
Text: Psalm 100; Luke 17:11-19
Rev. Laura Brewster
On Thanksgiving Day, many of us will gather with family or friends, feast on turkey and the trimmings; watch some football, and maybe begin holiday shopping. Don’t forget the real reason for the day though – giving thanks to God.
A Grateful Leper Offers Thanks
In Luke 17:11-19, we read about ten lepers who were healed by Jesus. However, only one of the men returned to offer Jesus thanksgiving. “He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan.”
Do We “See” God’s at Work In Our Lives?
This story about the grateful leper and what he “saw” poses two challenges for us. First, it challenges us to consider what we “see.” Example: If we are healed of an illness, do we accept it as a natural process of nature or do we “see” God at work?
If we do “see” our blessings as gifts from God, do we pause and give thanks?
The story of the grateful leper encourages us to stop and “see.” It also encourages us to then stop and give thanks. The Samaritan gave thanks immediately upon noticing the gift he had been given. We find this encouragement to offer God the praise that he’s due throughout the scriptures. One of the most well-known examples is that of Psalm 100. “… Enter his gates with thanks; enter his courtyards with praise! Thank him! Bless his name! Because the Lord is good, his loyal love lasts forever; his faithfulness lasts generation after generation.”
We Are Blessed When We Thank God – Blessed With a Stronger Faith
We are made to praise God, and doing so helps solidify our faith. When the Samaritan “sees” that he’s been healed, he runs to thank Jesus. When he does that, he has a meaningful encounter with Jesus that strengthens his faith. That’s the way thanksgiving works. When we pause to give thanks to God, we are reminded and reassured that we are loved by God, we are reminded and reassured that God is active in our lives, we are reminded and reassured that God is with us. This strengthens our faith.
Grateful People Are Vocal People
Still one more lesson we can gather from today’s reading is that grateful people do not hide their gratitude. Grateful people readily credit God before others. The grateful leper was certainly vocal. We Christians are called to speak out too. And if we readily and willingly share with others about the great ways God is acting in our lives, it can help interest others in our God.
A Thanksgiving Day Challenge
Place 5 kernels of corn on your plate on Thanksgiving Day. Allow them to prompt you to offer the Lord thanksgiving for five different blessings. Encourage others at the table to do the same.