On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
It seems as if every one is on the move today. This is supposedly the busiest travel day of the year, folks trying to get home (or to another family member's home) before Thanksgiving Day. Those of us who are staying put are in motion too, scurrying around to get things together to prepare for friends and neighbors. This can be a day of great anxiety, as people rush to make planes, trains and get on the highway, or as they think back and ache for better days. And then there are some who dread the obligation, the trauma and the whole holiday. And some ache to be on the move home to loved ones far away. In the midst of it all, it is easy to forget this is the season of gratitude and thanksgiving.
Jesus was traveling and came across a group of lepers who were shouting to him across the highway. He healed them by sending them to the priest, the healing happening while they were on the road. One man turned back to give thanks, the others so caught up in the drama of their healing that they went rushing on to see the priest. Caught up in it all, it can be easy to forget to be grateful. It took the foreigner among them to point out how blessed they all were. They had received their healing, and even more than that. They had their lives back, they could be among their families, touching their children and loved ones as they had ached to do. They were outcasts no longer. We can get so caught up in our circumstances, our itineraries and obligations, that we can forget to notice the blessings of love that surrounds us. We are invited today, as we scurry around to be take a moment and give thanks. For in giving thanks, we can see the healing and blessing that we have been given and honored by God, face to face.
A Prayer for Today
Dear loving Creator, we ask your presence with all of those who are on the road today. May we all remember, whether in motion or standing still, that we have daily received blessing upon blessing from your loving hands. You have formed us into families and communities, and no matter how broken or incomplete at this moment, you have blessed them all and promise more healing in the coming days. May we be filled with gratitude this day, filled with thanksgiving for the loving arms that await us, the abundance in which we will participate and in the food we can share and give away. May we be overflowing with love and gratitude this day, that it spills over and ignites joy around us. May we never forget your love and carry it wherever we go. Amen.