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Thanks

cropped-10839.jpgWhen Jesus saw that only one of the former lepers expressed gratitude, he was astonished.  He asked three questions:  “Were not ten healed?”  “Where are the other nine?”  “Can it be that only one came back to give glory to God?”

What was even more amazing, as the text inform us, is that this one who came back to offer praise was a Samaritan.  The others were all of Jewish decent.  They were God’s chosen.  They were people of the covenant.  But now of them returned to Jesus to offer thanks.

There is a bit of sorrowful humor in a story told by Sir Winston Churchill.  One day a sailor plunged into the icy cold waters of Plymouth Harbor to rescue a small boy from drowning.  A few days later the sailor met the young boy and his mother on the streets of the city.  The young boy told the mother:  “That’s the man who rescued me!”

The young sailor stood proud, saluted the mother and boy, and tried to figure out how he would respond to the mother’s gratitude.  He didn’t get the chance.  With eyes focused and lips unsmiling the mother looked at the sailor and said, “He had a hat!”

I wonder what was going on in the mind of the nine who went on their was without so much as scribbling a thank-you note.  They had sought mercy and been granted it in abundance.  Now this is conjecture, but I suspect they thought God’s owed them something.  After all, they were God’s chosen.  Could they have been treating God like a dutiful servant who was only doing what God was suppose to do?

Now the reason that I have this suspicion is because I’ve seen many people in the church treat God that way.  Believing that we are now God’s “chosen ones” we act as though God owes us something.   We do the right thing.  We believe the right doctrines.  We play by the rules.  God is suppose to be good to us—right?  He owes us—right?

Listen, nobody is blessed by God because they have earned it or deserve it.  God’s blessings are not the result of who we are or what we do, but who God is and what God does.  Fact is, God loves us, forgives us, accepts us, and blesses us even though we don’t ever deserve it!

We are LIKED, LOVED, ACCEPTED, INCLUDED, AND ADOPTED because it is the nature of God to treat us with such grace – not because we have achieved anything by our own efforts.

Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers
by: Anne Lamott
publisher: Riverhead Hardcover, published: 2012-11-13
ASIN: 1594631298
EAN: 9781594631290
sales rank: 793
price: $8.77 (new), $5.94 (used)

New York Times-bestselling author Anne Lamott writes about the three simple prayers essential to coming through tough times, difficult days and the hardships of daily life.

Readers of all ages have followed and cherished Anne Lamott’s funny and perceptive writing about her own faith through decades of trial and error. And in her new book, Help, Thanks, Wow, she has coalesced everything she knows about prayer to these fundamentals.

It is these three prayers – asking for assistance from a higher power, appreciating what we have that is good, and feeling awe at the world around us – that can get us through the day and can show us the way forward. In Help, Thanks, Wow, Lamott recounts how she came to these insights, explains what they mean to her and how they have helped, and explores how others have embraced these same ideas.

Insightful and honest as only Anne Lamott can be, Help, Thanks, Wow is the everyday faith book that new Lamott readers will love and longtime Lamott fans will treasure.

 

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