Tim Brown

READ : Luke 17

Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? (v. 17 NRSV)

Gratitude is to the human experience what the sun is to the soil. It warms and wills our best virtues to come out of the stony coldness of our hard hearts and show themselves like crocuses in springtime. Gratitude!

Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give [thanks] to God . . . ?” Haunting questions, wouldn’t you say? And we must answer them, because we are the lepers and our salvation in Christ requires us to express measurable levels of gratitude each day.

Two things from this scene beg to be noted and applied. First, gratitude is not what you express at the bargaining table of life when you find you’ve been cut a pretty good deal. It is what you bring to the bargaining table of life that makes you a pretty good person to deal with in the first place. The Samaritan leper possessed a disposition of gratitude that burst forth in thanksgiving immediately upon realizing he had been healed!

And here is the other thing. Gratitude, contrary to popular opinion, is less a feeling and more a practice. This entire scene turns on the action of the leper and not his feelings—actions like noticing, turning, falling, crying out. These are the practices of a grateful heart.


Change my heart, O God, and make me a grateful person!