By Rev Nigel Baylor
One of my favourite stories in the Gospels is the story of Jesus healing the 10 lepers in Luke 17:11-19 when one came back to him to praise God.
Jesus healed all 10 regardless of whether they would come back to thank Him. Jesus told the man that his faith had been the source of his blessing. There is a difference between being cured of an illness and being healed when we have a deeper relationship with God. The touching image of the thankful man throwing himself at Jesus’ feet in humility and gratitude is an example to us all of how grateful we should be to God for his blessings!
The following is a piece that I found in a diocesan magazine in recent times and I thought that it was worth sharing with you as a reflection on the theme of Thankfulness...
I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We entered a workroom filled with angels. The first group we stopped with was the Receiving Station where all prayerful petitions to God are received. The angels were sifting petitions written on lots of paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world.
The next was the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here graces and blessings people asked for are processed and delivered into the living persons who asked for them. They too were busy. This section had many hard working angels due to the many blessings prayed for.
Finally we stopped at the door of a very small station with only one seated angel with nothing to do. “This is the Acknowledgement Station,” my angel guide said. He seemed embarrassed. “How is it that there is no work going on here?,” I asked. He sighed and said, “Sadly, after people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgements.”
“How does one acknowledge God’s blessings?,” I asked. “Simple,” the angel answered. “Just say, ‘Thank you Lord’.”
If you have food in the fridge, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you’re blessed. If you have money in the bank and spare change in a dish you are blessed. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are blessed for many will not survive this day; if you’ve never experienced war, loneliness in prison, been tortured, or known starvation, you are blessed; if you can worship without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are blessed more than two billion people in the world; if you can read this message you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
‘Thank you Lord.’