Dec 17, 2013

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MEDITATION: Thankfulness is important for God

MEDITATION: Thankfulness is important for God

Then said Jesus, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner??” (Luke 17:18)

At the end of the year and with Advent upon us, many congregations are holding thanksgiving services.

What an appropriate thing to do! Because at the end of the year, and even when our day closes, we always need to do a review of our lives. Especially of those things – however few they may be – which we feel deeply grateful about. We need to consciously reflect on and nurture them.

The basic mood of any true Christian life is always characterised by a sense of gratitude. Without being thankful our lives easily become trapped in self concern, egotism and discontentment – a form of existence which is no longer seen as a precious gift from God, but as a right we can claim.

So that when things do not go our way, we become disgruntled, resentful, querulous and bitter.

Such an attitude towards life knows little about being thankful. In the words of Steven Furtick: “You can’t be grateful for something you feel entitled to.”

How important being thankful is, can clearly be seen from Jesus’s reaction in Luke 17:11-19, shortly after he had healed the ten leapers and only one returned to thank Him.

One may easily think that Jesus should not have bothered too much. But no, their indifference disturbs Him and we suddenly hear Him ask: “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:17-18).

By acting in this way, Jesus wanted to remind the bystanders – and of course us –  that being thankful is important for God, that God expect his/her followers to continuously thank and praise God. That God in fact dwells on the praises of God’s people.

Izaak Walton expressed this thought movingly when he wrote: “God has two dwellings; one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.”

Carel Anthonissen

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