s2s - Thought for the month - January 2022

 

It costs nothing to say Thank You.

 

“So Jesus answered and said, were there not ten cleansed?

But where are the nine?

Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God 

except this foreigner?

                                                                 Luke 17: 17, 18 (NKJV)

 

Inevitably, during the Christmas break the subject of how Christmas was in our childhood came up. Do we reminisce through rose tinted specs? Maybe, or maybe as children Christmas is simply a more special time.

 

I certainly remember the “task” for Boxing Day afternoon; my brother and I would be set at the table, furnished with pen and paper, and a list of those to whom Thank You letters were to be written.

Both of our parents came from families where money was tight, so any sort of gift was received with genuine gratitude,  a formal expression of thanks was their natural response - while it may not have been “natural” for us as young children by our teens it was.

Listening to comments this year it seems that such letters are few and far between; maybe a text message, maybe not - I can hear Dad sharpening his pencil!!

 

This led me to remember Jesus and the ten lepers (Luke 17) If ever there was a gift worthy of a Thank You note surely this was it - to be free from leprosy.

Yet, despite this miraculous gift of cleansing, just one of the ten returned to give glory to God; to say Thank You.

 

I wonder how we match up, how do we compare to the one in ten?

We will, no doubt, regularly turn to the Lord in prayer, and it’s right that we should. The apostle Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, said, “pray without ceasing” (1Thess 5: 17) continuing, “in everything give thanks;” (v18)

And writing to the Philippians, he said this:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” (Phil 4: 6)

 

Paul’s message is the same to both churches, offer your prayers to the Lord, but remember to give thanks too.

So, do we remember to give thanks, particularly when we see prayers answered? Maybe we can empathise with the ten lepers; seeing that they were cleansed was it that their first thought was to do just as Jesus had told them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” having done so wouldn’t they want to go back to their families and friends? To share this wonderful news with the people that they could otherwise never have been close to again. They could thank this man Jesus later - there would be plenty of time later wouldn’t there?

 

Isn’t that the same with us too? Once we see a prayer answered we are so caught up in the moment, seeing the result of our letting God know our requests, that we “put off” the thanksgiving while we get on with the “rejoicing”, we can say thanks next time.

 

So, maybe before we point out the speck in the eye of one of the lepers, we should look in the mirror, in case there’s a plank in our own.

 

Remember the words of the psalmist:

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!

For His mercy endures forever.” (Ps 106: 1)

 

May the Lord bless you.