Sunday Readings: 2 Kings 14-17 2 Timothy 2.8-13 Luke 17.11-19
On their way the lepers found they were cleansed. One of them seeing that he had been healed, turned back, praising God in a loud voice. He fell at Jesus’ feet, thanking him. This man was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Weren’t ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Did none return to give glory to God but this man who is not of our country?” –Luke 17.14-17
This miracle story ends with a twist that probes how the physical healing affects the ten lepers within themselves. Does the miracle lead to faith or require faith? Is the Samaritan the only believer? Is he grateful because he is whole or does he bring a grateful attitude to the miracle?
Gratitude has power within us. In her book Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We Are in Without Going Crazy, Joanna Macy reports studies that show we are more likely to help people to whom we are grateful. Gratitude builds trust because it marks times we have been able to count on one another.
Expressing gratitude plays forward; it creates a widening spiral of helping, trust, and cooperation. Macy also thinks gratitude prevents consumer values. A life of gratitude creates a reservoir to tap into when things don’t go well. One can remember and cherish all one does have.
Being alive calls us to appreciate the Creator. Evolution deepens the story of God’s creative love in which we live. We see with eyes that have evolved over millions of years in creatures that sought light. Our stem cells contain the memory of God’s love unfolding.
To be part of giving life gives parents a moment in the evolution of all that is. The birth of a child takes them to a place of awe and closeness to God. The child immediately breathes in the oxygen that plants and trees make every day out of sunlight.
What are 10 things you are grateful for today?