Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Thanksgiving DaySt. Luke 17: 11-19
“… When he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet…”
FROM KYRIE ELEISON TO HALLELUJAH
Martin Luther when asked how he would describe the nature of true worship. His answer was the tenth leper turning back. This passage speaks of the healing of ten lepers by Jesus Christ on his way to Jerusalem. The ten lepers approach Jesus with a broken heart requesting him to be merciful in supplying a very pertinent need of theirs - To be healed of leprosy because of which they have become outcasts. Jesus responds with compassion that aids in their healing. However one of the leper, a Samaritan, returns in haste to the one who healed him. His response teaches us that experiencing God in our lives should lead to a faithful response.
In contrast to the general understanding that our healing is a response to our faith, here we see faith being revealed after healing. In Scripture, we see that God acts in our life situation in the most spectacular way. God sent His Son to the world not as a response to our faith but out of His immense love for his creation out of His Divine Grace. Hence Paul says “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). Hence our proper response to the Divine act is through praise and thanksgiving. In this passage, we see that faith is shown as a prayer of thanksgiving. While God out of His Divine Grace has redeemed us through his blood, our faith becomes complete only when we respond with thanksgiving. Did the other nine not praise God? They would have also been praising God their way to the temple but they forgot to realize God in Jesus Christ. While we say we can thank and praise God anywhere and everywhere, this Samaritan teaches us that our devotion and praise become ultimate at the feet of Jesus Christ. The posture of the healed man is that of worship where he forgets himself and places his whole life at the feet of Jesus to be made whole. Here Luke uses the Greek word Eucharisteo for thanks. The same word is used during the last supper in the upper room. Our ultimate praise and thanksgiving are revealed at the Lord's table.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving let us participate in God’s love. It is when we participate do we remember that what we are is not on our own merits but by the Divine Grace of God. Amen.
Thought for the Day
If you accept such love with purity and humility, you will understand that Love is neither giving nor receiving – it is participating. Paulo Coelho
Rev. Biju S Cherian
Bangalore East MTC