Today’s Word: ‘Mint’ as in… a sweet reminder to give thanks!
We’ve got to begin with Luke 17:11-19.
It happened that as Jesus made his way toward Jerusalem, he crossed over the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. They kept their distance but raised their voices, calling out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
Taking a good look at them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”
They went, and while still on their way, became clean. One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus said, “Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?” Then he said to him, “Get up. On your way. Your faith has healed and saved you.”
~ Luke 17:11-19 The Message
We’ve probably all been thankful for gifts and gestures of kindness we received. We can also remember those times when we forgot to say thanks when we should have.
The Healing of the Ten Lepers in Luke 17 is a story that teaches a lot about saying thanks.
On one level, it’s a story about ten people who were healed of a terrible disease, with only one returning to express gratitude. On a deeper level there are a lot of questions:
- Why did 90% of the people healed fail to return to give Jesus thanks?
- What motivated the one who did return?
- Where did the other nine go?
- What was the conversation with Jesus all about?
- What does it mean to truly be thankful?
- What is so powerful, or healing, or just plain inspiring about that little action of ‘turning around’ or ‘coming back’ to say thanks before getting on with the rest of our lives?
Imagine that you’re out for dinner at some nice restaurant. The meal is over and your server leaves the bill on the table, saying something like, “No hurry, I’ll take care of that when you’re ready!” On the little black, plastic tray, on top of the bill, there are several Andes Mints. You know, the ones wrapped in green and white foil. That’s your server’s way of saying thank you for eating at the restaurant and being terrific guests. It could also remind you of what a great job the server did; a reminder to leave a generous tip.
It’s at least a kind gesture. And we certainly need more kind gestures in our lives today.
The next time you are out for a meal and your server brings the bill and some Andes Mints, have each person take a mint and reflect on the things that stir gratitude. When you are finished, commit together to pray for the wait staff at that restaurant before you eat your next meal.
The mint: what a sweet reminder to give thanks!