From the Pulpit: Giving thanks

Can you believe that Thanksgiving Day is next week? Where has the time gone? Thanksgiving is more than food, family and football. It is giving thanks to God for all the blessings He has given to us.

Have you ever gone out of your way and done something above and beyond the call of duty and didn’t receive a simple “Thank you?” Perhaps, you felt used and maybe have even said to yourself, “That will be the last time I do anything for that person.”

If you have ever been in that situation, you are in good company, because that very same thing happened to Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Luke 17:11-19, records for us the account of Jesus Christ cleansing ten lepers and only one returned to give Him thanks.

Lepers have many things in common with us. The first common element is that we are all afflicted by the same disease; the disease of sin and separation from God. Romans 3:23, tells us that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

They were dying men, and the truth is that we all will face death at some point. But we have hope in Christ! Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Without Christ, they had no hope, we ourselves, without Christ, have no hope either. When Jesus saw them He had compassion on them, (Luke 17:14).

As they went, they were cleansed. The first step is cleansing. We receive our cleansing from Jesus Christ through the cross at Calvary. Have you been to the cross to receive your cleansing? Will you take that step?

We discover in verses 15 and 16 of Luke 17, that one leper after he realized he had been healed, returned to Jesus, to give Him thanks, with a loud voice. He had been hopeless but he now found hope. He had been homeless, but now could return home. He had been rejected, but now could be received. Have you ever been this thankful, that you praised God with a loud voice?

Even though this man was praising God, we discover that Jesus was grieved by the nine who received the same healing but did not return to give thanks. How soon we forget the goodness of God.

Are you thankful or thoughtless? We should thank God every day and not just one day a year. Is your thanksgiving more than a feast and football? Our gracious Lord deserves thanks for saving us and providing for us. This Thanksgiving, let each one of us be like the leper who returned to give God thanks. We are truly blessed in this nation. Give God your best and you will have a Happy Thanksgiving.

(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)