Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Grateful Rebellion

I was invited to write one week of devotionals for the 2011 edition of the "Upper Room Disciplines." The devotionals are based on the lectionary scriptures for a week in October. Here is one.

Monday, Oct. 10, 2011 (Thanksgiving Day in Canada) - Read Luke 17:11-19

Jesus clearly tells all ten lepers to go and show themselves to the priests. In Jewish practice, these are not unusual instructions for those hoping to get well. So they embark on the journey but, surprisingly, experience cleansing en route.

Yet one Samaritan, ironically a foreigner but one that would know about ritual washing practices, turns back as soon as his skin clears. Jesus finds him lying at his feet and commends him.

True gratitude involves more than simply following instructions and mustering up an obligatory thank you. It is being overwhelmed with joy. All ten had experienced the same miracle of healing on the outside. Yet Jesus praised the one who was changed on the inside. “Your faith has made you well.”

We have a difficult time with gratitude because we live in a world of doing and accomplishing. We solve a problem and move on. We get the job done, and we’re on to the next task.

But the tenth leper reminds us that gratitude brings completeness to our healing. I love to worship is because it deepens the thankfulness of my heart, bringing an extraordinary wholeness to the grace I have received.

In a world of functionalism, we are called not just to do our part and follow the basic requirements. We are called to be in relationship with the One who makes us well.

When have you been overwhelmed with joy? Get in touch with memories and moments that have drawn you back to the feet of Christ. Give praise in a way that makes your joy more complete.