Returning with Gratitude
What are you grateful for today? As you prepare for worship, take a moment to be present in this space. Breathe deep. Even if everything seems familiar to you, try to observe your surroundings in a fresh way. Who is gathered with you? What sounds do you hear? As you settle in, ask yourself: Why am I here? What brings me back to this place and this community?
In today’s gospel, Jesus meets ten people suffering from leprosy—a disease that required them to live cut off from the rest of society. Jesus tells them to go to the religious leaders to be examined for cleanliness, and along the way they are healed. One can only imagine the relief and joy that overcame this group as they experienced the restoration not just of their health but of their places in community. Yet, for one of these people something more happened: he not only experienced joy, but he felt compelled to return to Jesus, fall at his feet, and thank him.
At the center of the worshiping community is Christ, who offers healing to all who gather. Through the proclamation of God’s love, Christ speaks words that restore our lives. In the waters of baptism, Christ offers us a new future in a community of his disciples. Around the table, Christ gives us his body and blood to strengthen us and renew us for the work of discipleship we will face in the week ahead.
But today’s gospel reminds us that the healing we come to receive is only half the equation. Christ also longs for us not to grow complacent with the gift of God’s grace. Rather, in every moment of healing, Christ hopes to fill our hearts with a gratitude that will draw us into deeper and deeper relationship with him. Let your worship today be like that of the man in the gospel, an act of worship and gratitude for all that Christ has already done.
Devotional message and art based on the readings for October 9th, reprinted from sundaysandseasons.com.
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