“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.” –Luke 17:15-16
I recently received a card in the mail. It was a card expressing gratitude that brought great joy to me as I read the letter. As I read this letter I could not help but be reminded of the importance of gratitude and how necessary it is that we express our gratitude to the important people in our lives.
In the Gospel of Luke there is a brief story that takes place as Jesus and his disciples are on their way to Jerusalem. They were in an area that was occupied by Samaritans. Some Samaritans had heard that Jesus was in the area. They were afflicted by leprosy. The set out in search of Jesus and when they found him they begged him, “Have mercy on us.”
Jesus did not flee from the men in fear for his health. He did not hold back mercy from them because they were Samaritans and not Jews. Jesus extended mercy. He offered all ten healing and invited them to go see the priests. In the time of Jesus, it was the priest who certified healing. When they arrived at the priest they were found healed and their relationship with the community was restored.
After hearing this great news Luke tells us that one of the men went in search of Jesus so that he could express his gratitude. He found Jesus, “He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.” It was a beautiful picture of thanksgiving for a life that had been saved.
Luke offers this story as an ultimate reminder of the importance of gratitude. When we experience good in our lives we often respond with great joy. We do not always remember to say thank you. Gratitude is an intentional expression. It is not always part of what we do, and this is evident by the absence of the other nine men in this story.
I want to encourage you today to be intentional about gratitude. When we experience good we must be deliberate about expressing our gratitude. Saying thank you increases our joy and the joy of the one who receives our gratitude. Take a few minutes today and write a thank you note to someone who has done something good. In our practice of gratitude we find joy.
-Rev. Keith King, Online Campus Pastor