Monday Morning Devotional

Week of November 20, 2017

“Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan.”
--- Luke 17:15-16

In 2012, Janice Kaplan supervised a national survey on gratitude for the John Templeton Foundation. Conducted in July-August 2012, the extensive survey, which was analyzed across numerous demographic groupings, “looked at trends in expressing gratitude and also investigated how and why people express gratitude at work, at home, and in daily situations. Here are a few of the key findings:

A significant gratitude gap exists in America. 90% of people describe themselves as grateful for their family and 87% are similarly grateful for their closest friends. But only 52% of women and 44% of men express gratitude on a regular basis.

Expressing gratitude can lift other people’s spirits--and your own, too. 60% say they express gratitude to make themselves feel good and 57% do so to make other people feel good, too.

Women are more grateful than men on almost every measure--except at home. 67% of men say they express gratitude to their spouse every day (only 59% of women do the same).

People are less likely to express gratitude at work than any place else. 74% never or rarely express gratitude to their boss. But people are eager to have a boss who expresses gratitude to them. 70% would feel better about themselves if their boss were more grateful and 81% would work harder.

Being religious significantly increases feelings of gratitude. 75% of the most religious agree that “I have so much in life to be thankful for” while only 39% of the non-religious agree. 63% of the most religious express gratitude on a regular basis compared with just 32% of the non-religious.

Today’s passage is one of many in the Gospel of Luke reminding us that there is no person the gospel cannot reach and no boundary the gospel cannot cross. Ten lepers approach Christ, imploring him, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Our Lord tells them to go and show themselves to the priests who would be able to perform the prescribed sacrifices for lepers who had been cured. “And as they went, they were made clean (v. 14).”

Only one of the ten, a Samaritan, turned back and gave praise to God. “He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him (v.16).” This outsider demonstrated that the appropriate response to Jesus is one of faithful recognition and gratitude. Not only was this something the other nine failed to do, but the religious leaders as well. The challenge for us who have been privileged to hear the teachings of Jesus and have been touched by his grace, is to be like the Samaritan - turning back to God, falling on our faces at the feet of Jesus, and giving him thanks.

Prayer: Lord, help us daily to express our gratitude, first to you as the giver of every good and perfect gift, and then to others as well.