"Please" and "Thank You"

 

Theme: Very important words: "Please" and "Thank you" - Proper 23 (28) Year C
Object: A "Thank You" card, or perhaps a stuffed Barney toy
Scripture: Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?" Luke 17:17 (NIV)

They may be the most important words in any language...do you know what words I am talking about? I'm talking about the words please" and thank you. There is a big purple dinosaur named Barney that I see on TV that sings a song called "Please and Thank You." He calls them "the magic words." This is what Barney says:

He's talking 'bout please and thank you,
They're called the magic words,
If you want nice things to happen,
They're the words that should be heard,
Remember please and thank you,
'Cause they're the magic words.
(Words & Music by Phil Parker © 1992 Shimbaree Music)

When I was a child and asked my mother for something, she would often remind me to say "please" by saying, "What's the magic word?" Then, after she gave me what I asked for, she would remind me to say "thank you" by saying, "Now what do you say?" I knew what to say, but sometimes I would forget. We all know what to say, but unfortunately, we sometimes forget to say it.

Our Bible story today is about ten lepers. 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 mercy on us." Obviously, they knew who Jesus was and that he had the power to heal them and they asked very nicely. 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, please answer when we call. Give us relief from our troubles, and have mercy upon us in our time of need. We give thanks with all our heart. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.