Sunday, November 20, 2005


WORD WEEK 11-20-05


Luke 17:11-19

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" 14 When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19 Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."



23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

In the year 2005, we as a community, nation, and the world by and large have made significant advancements in agriculture, science, medicine, psychology, technology, and spirituality. However, commensurate with these laudable achievements are numerous critical issues that warrant serious consideration, responses, and empathic attention. Significantly, while the aforementioned strides that we have achieved within this millennium have caused the world to become a better place for some, these same strides have equally exacerbated greater issues of distress due to a lack of consideration as well as the absence of gratitude. While, we live in a world where the opportunity to acquire and accumulate is both pervasive and infinite, the awareness and a spirit of sincere thanks appears to be remiss.

It appears that gone are the days, when one driver allows another driver to precede him/her on the road and a waving hand of thanks is given in acknowledgment of courtesy. It appears that gone are the days when one human being holds open a door for another who is one foot or two feet behind and the words of thanks are uttered to acknowledge gratitude. It appears that gone are the days when persons show acts of kindness and consideration to others and that a simple response of "Thank You" is given.
Have we, GOD'S BELOVED CREATION, become so self-absorbed, driven, malignantly narcissistic, and post modernistic in our perspective that the words and the healing power of the words "Thank You" have been erased from our memory banks like that of tabularasa? Are we so busy in our quest to acquire that we cannot take a second to acknowledge the gift of another human being who too is a tiller in our Father's Vineyard and our Mother's Garden? What a glorious gift and privilege it is when we render thanks! When we say "Thank You" we keep ourselves open as human being to the reality that this is our Father's world and that we must live in it together. When we speak the words, "Thank You" it provides for us a mindfulness that we are interdependent and that we need each other. When we speak the words, "Thank you" our hearts are kept both human and humble!
Yes, Beloved, it is a such a reverential act of goodness the honors GOD when we render thanks to one another! Over the few past few weeks or so we have witnessed the bombing in Jordan; the war in Iraq, which continues to result in the deaths of numerous people, innocent people on both sides of this travesty; the tornado in Iowa; violence in France; the election controversy in Liberia; and a plethora of local pathos that is prevalent throughout every state in the United States! While these are undoubtedly horrific events, how many of have taken the time to thank GOD for the presence of grace even in the midst of such mind boggling massive destruction?
While such hopelessness and brokenness provokes the people of GOD to raise some very critically existential questions about the purpose of our journey on our return to the Celestial City of GOD! Many of GOD'S people have walked away from service; they have walked away from love; they have walked away from tolerance; they have walked away from a genuine desire to understand; they have walked away from openness as it requires too much authentic introspection; they have walked away from passion; they have walked away from integrity; they have walked away from power because they feel, far too frequently, defeated by the daily malaise of making it from one moment to the next; they have walked away from a spirit of rendering thanks. Help us GOD!
The aforementioned plethora of events in our society bring to mind the powerful narrative of the Ten Lepers in Luke 17:11-19. Jesus on his journey along the border of Samaria and Galilee happened upon ten men who had leprosy. In their agony, pathos, and distress they called out to Jesus and petitioned him to have mercy upon them. When he saw them, he had mercy upon them and requested that they show themselves to the priests. As the lepers proceeded as directed, they were cleansed; healed; cured; delivered! However, one of them upon seeing that he was healed, came back and praised GOD with a loud voice and threw himself at JESUS' feet to thank him. Jesus states that "were there not 10 healed? Where are the nine?"
When was the last time that you thanked a family member for just being with you? When was the last time that you thanked that friend who called to see how you where doing? When is the last time that you thanked an acquaintance who sent you an email or a card? When is the last time that you thanked the gentleman who held the door when your arms were full? When was the last time that you thanked a senior citizen for the quiet strength and smile that she/he gave you and because of the encounter, you knew that everything would be alright? When is the last time that you thanked GOD for your parents or the pilot for a safe flight, When was the last time that you thanked GOD for your health, sight, and grace? When is the last time you thanked GOD?
Have we not wondered to where/whom should we turn when things went wrong? Have we not wondered to whom we could run to find a shoulder to lay our heads upon? Oh yes, we have wondered these things and many more? Thank GOD that we can be encouraged by him, turn to him, rest in him, and run to him! In times of distress, darkness, despair, danger, and death, thank GOD, for even then, it is GOD who is keeping us and not we ourselves!
During this season of Thanksgiving, may each one of us of take the time to reflect and render thanks to one another for one another, for those near and far, for those seen and not seen, for those present and those who are now in Glory Land, and render homage to the JESUS CHRIST THE LORD our SAVIOR, ROCK, FORTRESS, DELIVERER and SHEPHERD in AGES PAST!

"In everything give thanks to the LORD, for he is good and his mercy endures forever!"


K. Mason
(c) 2005
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