Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

It’s that holiday time of year when we gather with family and friends around a table of delicious food to celebrate a Thanksgiving feast. The early pilgrims shared the blessings of harvest, as the Israelites do during the Feast of Tabernacles. It’s a time we show our thankfulness to God, for His faithfulness to provide for us. How wonderful it would be to have a thankful heart all year! Do you agree? However, life happens. We busy ourselves with work or having fun. Sometimes loss, suffering or hard times cloud our thankful spirits.

I’d like to tell you a story from the Bible. When Jesus entered a city, ten lepers met him. They cried from a distance, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” You see, their skin disease was very contagious and made them outcasts. They could not live in town, in their own homes, or with their families. They could not hug or be hugged. Jesus said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As the lepers went towards the temple, they were cleansed. Only one man came back to say, “Thank you.” He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and praised Him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give thanks but this foreigner?” Then He said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well” (Luke 17:11-19).


Have you ever given a gift that didn’t seem appreciated? You spent precious time searching for just the right thing, something you thought would be perfect. Maybe you spent a little extra money on it. Yet, it didn’t get the approval or “thank you” you expected. It happens too often. How much better it would be if we, like the cleansed leper, showed a thankful heart. It would bless the giver as we’ll as the receiver.


Holy Lord, teach us to be more thoughtful, more giving, more thankful. Teach us to be more like Jesus, and to forgive people who seem less than thankful for our gifts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.