Thursday, January 8, 2015

“Thankful Yet Ungrateful” (Luke 17:17-19)

S-1457 FSIA/3B 11/27/2014 Hymns: (O) #568; (S) #574; L.S. #401; 535; 306; (C) # 36

Texts: Psalm 104; Deuteronomy 8:1-10; Philippians 4:6-20; Luke 17:11-17

Theme: “Thankful Yet Ungrateful” (Luke 17:17-19) Thanksgiving Day

Question: “What are you thankful for?”

Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia. The text for Thanksgiving Day is from the Gospel Lesson: “Then Jesus answered, Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ And He said to him, Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well’” (Luke 17:17-19).

In the name of Christ Happy Thanksgiving! Is it? Whether you are a pastor or people, standing in the pulpit or in the pew, young or old we have a hard time saying “Thank you!” It is not natural for us to say it. How many times have you said to your little ones “What do you say?” You are prodding them to say thank you. How about the teenagers? They get gifts for their confirmation, birthday, Christmas or graduation and mom and dad have to prod them to send a thank you. And for us adults lets us not just agree, that is what they need to do. How about you? How often do you say thank you or send a note?

You see it doesn’t make any difference what age you are or what is your position saying thank you is not something we do often. We have to be prodded. We have to be taught and we have to practice it—all because it is contrary to the fallen nature of man. We are so richly blessed yet ungrateful.

We see that in the text today. 10 lepers come to Jesus and plead with Him saying to Him, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” And the good news He did. He poured upon them His ointment of healing and restored their dead body. 9 out of 10 didn’t return, didn’t acknowledge and didn’t thank the Lord.

You might say, if I was one of these lepers I would have come and thanked my Lord and Savior, for His healing touch. But really! Have you said “Thank you Lord today?” Have you thanked Him for all of the blessings He has bestowed upon you today? Have acknowledged that everything you have is a gift from Him. You see when you thank the Lord that means you are thinking of Him. When we think of Him we thank Him because then we realize every good and perfect gift is from Him alone.

David, the Psalmist said this: “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!” (Ps. 118:1) Yes, indeed! His steadfast endures forever. If that is all you give us Lord Jesus that would have been enough for us. But you give us so much more. You give us air to breathe, clothes to wear, food to eat, family, friends, a church where the Word of the Lord is preached purely and the Sacraments administered and shared. How thankful we should be! PAUSE.

We are so blessed, yet very ungrateful. We are never content. We are never satisfied with what we have. If we would many of us would not be so consumed with being present at Black Friday. But let it be known that there is only one true Black Friday—the day Jesus died for you and was placed in a cold tomb for you. Yes, we should be thankful if only we think of what it is that we have from His gracious hands. PAUSE.

On November 17, 2013 in Minden, IL a tornado ripped through the town taking with it the home of Ray and Eunice Hausler. They lost everything they had. After the wreckage, they were going through the debris and they found something that made them stand and take notice. A picture remained on part of the wall intact. The picture had these words on it: “Trust in the Lord.” A year later Ray and Eunice sponsored KFUO program for a day in thanksgiving to the Lord for His kindness and mercy.

What is interested is that a year later they are still getting calls that people are finding their items and calling them to return their items. Their lives are like ours. Even if we lose everything as Luther says: “The Word they still remain Nor any thanks for it; He’s by our side upon the plain With His good gifts and Spirit. And take they our life, Goods, fame, child, and wife, let these all be gone, They yet have nothing won; The Kingdom ours remaineth. Amen” TLH 401)

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