Christian Symbol - Weekly Devotion 2
Thanksgiving Day
November 24, 2022

(Luke 17:11-19 NIV) "Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. {12} As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance {13} and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" {14} When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. {15} One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. {16} He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan. {17} Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? {18} Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" {19} Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well.""

This is perhaps the best-known of the Scripture lessons heard at Thanksgiving. 

It shows us gratitude, but especially, based on the numbers of the lepers, it shows ingratitude. 

Am I thankful to God? How thankful to God am I? 

Imagine having a debilitating disease, one that would prevent you from even coming near people except those with the same disease. Imagine a disease that would lead to your death. Leprosy was such a disease. Now the word leprosy is used in the Old Testament for many kinds of what we would call skin diseases, but they still required – among the Jews – that one be isolated unless it can be shown that your disease has been healed. 

Now your disease has been healed! All you have to do is follow the Law of Moses and show yourselves to the priests to confirm that your disease has been healed. So what do you do? Well, you have to go to the priest. Then what do you do?

Head for the dinner table to pig out? Head for the couch to enjoy Thanksgiving Day football games? Head for the tavern? Plan your shopping for tomorrow because there are all sorts of bargains on material things in the stores? Take a nap?

How about thanking God – at least taking time to turn around and thank him before you go and do whatever it is that you think is so very important on this day that should be a day of special thanksgiving to God?  

You have the choice of gratitude or ingratitude. (See the Ministry By Mail sermon for Thanksgiving!) Which is your choice on this day apart from work, a day your church and pastor have set aside as a special day of thanksgiving? What is your choice every day? 

And, of course, physical healing isn’t all that Jesus Christ does for us. He heals us from the leprosy of sin which would destroy us eternally. Not only do we have physical gifts to be thankful for as we move past Thanksgiving Day, we have spiritual gifts, too. 

Prayer
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, whose mercies are new unto us every morning and who, though we have in no way deserved Thy goodness, abundantly provides for all our wants of body and soul, we pray thee to give us Thy Holy Spirit that we may heartily acknowledge Thy merciful goodness toward us, give thanks for all Thy benefits, and serve Thee in willing obedience. This we ask through Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord. Amen

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