Saturday, November 27, 2010

Where are the Nine?

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising god with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?” (Luke 17:15-17)

Everyone reading this blog has reason to give praise to God. The question is whether we will go on our thankless way like the rest of the former lepers, or turn around and fall at Jesus’ feet like the Samaritan. 

Are you part of the one or one of the nine?

I find it easy to ask God for things.  I find it relatively easy to confess sin, perhaps because I have so much of it and feel guilty for it.  It is harder for me to give thanks, not because I think I’m too proud to say thank you, but because I don’t have my eyes open to see all that God has done and is doing.

All of us, I imagine, got sick in the past year.  And almost all of us got better.  Have we given thanks?  If we are getting sicker, maybe even approaching death, have we given thanks for the grace to make it this far and for the grace that will lead us home?

There is so much God has done for us: jobs, paid our bills, paying our bills at church, safe travel, safe surgeries, miraculous provision for little babies over the past year.  We’ve had good test results, open doors, and unexpected blessings.  Have we thanked God?

Did you sleep last night?  Did your kids?  Will you eat tomorrow?  Have you seen people recently converted?  Are their relationships in the process of being healed?  Did you sell your house or get married or finish school?  Have you enjoyed the encouragement and support of the church?  Have you enjoyed laughter and sympathy with friends?  We’ve known guilt. We’ve received grace. Will we live out gratitude?

We aren’t all blessed in the same ways. But we all have been blessed in innumerable ways. Some return to Jesus with praise. Others do not. Which prompts Jesus to say two things: “Your faith has made you well” and “Where are the nine?”

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