November 2023


Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” (Luke 17:17)

“What do you say?” a mother has to prompt her child, clutching Grandma’s present. Thanksgiving Day, on the fourth Thursday of this month, is a reminder for me to say thank you to a gracious God.

Earlier, the leper had begged with the nine, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” Lying in the dirt at Jesus’ feet after the master had answered, the healed leper knew how much he had received. Before, he was walking death; afterward, he was restored again to his family and society. Before, he was heading for hell; afterward, he was readied for heaven. No wonder he knelt before Jesus with his humble thank you.

Why do I so often forget my thank-you? Could it be that, unlike that leper, I forget what I deserve and how much I’ve received? Thanksgiving is a time to remember that the only thing I deserve from God is damnation in hell. I don’t deserve the Savior he sent or a bit of the forgiveness of sins he brings. Nor do I have coming the lesser gifts in life. I have a slice of bread to butter, a stitch of clothing to wear, fresh air to inhale, a loved one to enjoy—only because he is my merciful Father. Gratitude begins with remembering my unworthiness and his abundant mercy. Gratitude begins with remembering my unworthiness and his abundant mercy.

Genuine gratitude colors each day. I know, as Paul put it, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)

God, help me remember my thank-you for your grace and mercy every day. Amen.