Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Non-entitled and Needy Say "Thank You"

Monroe County
I headed toward the door of our local Panera Bread with a cup of coffee in each hand. A young man saw me coming and opened the door for me. He didn't have to do that. I didn't deserve it. But he looked upon me as needing assistance and came to my rescue. He had pity on me.

I said "Thank you."

Thanks. I needed that.

To give thanks is to acknowledge need. 

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 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Luke 17:11-19

Of the ten lepers, nine were presumably Jews, and one was a Gentile, hence not a pure descendant of Abraham. The nine lepers who failed to thank Jesus suffered from global entitlement. Their pure-bred lineage meant they deserved to be healed. When you deserve something you don't say thank you.

Outcasts and self-identified sinners view things differently. They know they are needy and undeserving. 

Jesus sees the lepers standing at a distance because they are "unclean." He has pity on them. 

When the non-entitled foreigner-leper experiences healing he returns to Jesus.

He falls before him.

The words "thank you" cascade out of his heart.