The Thankful Leper

Theme: Don't forget to say, "Thank you" - Proper 23 (28) Year C
Object: A "Thank You" card
Scripture: Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?" Luke 17:17 (NIV)

A friend of ours recently had a baby and we sent them a gift for the new baby. Last week I received this "Thank You" card in the mail. Inside of the card it says, "Thank you so much for your gift. It was just what we needed for our new baby." You know, it really made me feel good that our friends took the time to send us a card to say, "Thank You."

Don't you just hate it when someone does something nice for you and your mother prompts you by saying, "Now, what do you say?" You knew what to say, didn't you? We all know what to say, but unfortunately, we sometimes forget to say it. That is what happened in our Bible lesson today.

Our Bible story today is about ten lepers. Do you know what a leper is? No, it is not an animal with spots on it. That's a leopard! However, a leper does have spots. A leper is a person who has a disease called leprosy. This disease causes sores all over the body. Leprosy was very common in Jesus' day, and people who had this disease were thought to be unclean. They were required to stay away from other people because of the fear that they might infect them with their disease.

One day, Jesus was walking through a small village when he saw a group of ten lepers. They stood far away from Jesus and called to him, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us." Obviously, they knew who Jesus was and that he had the power to heal them. When Jesus heard them, he called back to the lepers and said, "Go, show yourself to the priest."

As the lepers went on their way to see the priest, they looked at their skin and the sores were gone. Jesus had healed their disease. They were so happy that they ran up and down the streets singing and dancing. Suddenly, one of them stopped and went back. Praising God with a loud voice, he threw himself at Jesus' feet and said, "Thank You." Jesus said to him, "Weren't there ten who were healed? Where are the other nine?" Only one out of ten remembered to say, "Thank You."

God does so much for us! Every day he provides everything we need: food, clothing, and a place to live. Do we ever forget to say, "Thank You?" Let's stop right now and say "Thank You" and ask God to help us remember to thank Him every day.

Dear Lord, you give us everything we need, but we often forget to say "Thank You." We thank you now, and ask you to help us to remember to give thanks every day for all that you do for us. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

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