Health and medicine are front and center today. They have been for the better part of a year and a half. The Bible story we are reading this week puts the spotlight on an account where Jesus, with a few words, healed 10 men of leprosy, now called Hansen’s disease. In the time of Jesus, there was no proven treatment plan. The disease was devastating as it separated people from society. It was assumed to spread easily and rapidly, so lepers were ostracized from others to prevent an outbreak.
Chances are that no one reading this has or will get leprosy. However, we’ve all been ill. Some of us have been in desperate states of illness. We have known that moment of getting on the other side of what was ailing us and realizing we were “better.” Feeling better is awesome, especially when you’ve literally or figuratively been on death’s doorstep.
When Jesus heals ten men suffering from leprosy, it’s likely all of them flipped out with excitement. One was unique in the initial moments of healing’s jubilation. His response was to praise God, and while he was praising God, he returned to Jesus to say, “Thank you!” This response of gratitude got Jesus’ attention.
Gratitude stood out then, and it stands out now. When we express gratitude, something happens to us and to others. This week, we’ll explore more of what happens when gratitude is expressed, but let’s start by practicing it today.
Today, get out a pen and paper and list twenty-five things you are grateful for. At the end of the writing, say “Thank you” to Jesus as well.