My car said it was 77 degrees today…what a lovely day. One might think it was September, but the changing color of the leaves on the trees and the fact that they are falling in the yard says that indeed we are in Fall and November is here!

               November brings about thoughts of turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce and green bean casserole, pumpkin and pecan pie. So we start planning for Thanksgiving Dinner. November is a month we think about giving thanks. Veterans Day is November 11th and we pause and give thanks those who have spent time in the military serving our nation. On these special days we give our thanks, but what about the other days? I was reminded about the ten lepers that begged Jesus to heal them and we are told that, “When he (Jesus) saw them , he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on you way, your faith has made you well.’” (Luke 17:14-19).

              What a gift these lepers had been given, they followed Jesus’ instructions and apparently, they were healed of their disease while they were walking away. One of the ten noticed that he had been healed and came back. The man didn’t just thank Jesus for his healthy and whole body, he got down on his knees and praised God and thanked Jesus for his healing. He wanted everyone within the sound of his voice to know the gift he had been given and how thankful he was for that gift. Thinking about this caused be to think about how often I am actually taking the time to thank God, to thank Jesus for the gifts that I have been given. I discovered that I might thank God for a couple of things at the beginning of my prayer time, but I quickly moved on to what I was asking for.

              We have everything to be thankful for! Everything we have is a gift from God…yes, even the difficult times. I have found that when I give thanks to God for all that has happened to me each day, I am a happier person. I have changed my prayer time…Sunday evening prayers are all about what I am thankful for…which sometimes in very difficult knowing that the world, the church, and church members need my prayers. I do not forget those in need, I give thanks that I have an
opportunity to pray for them. Do I want them to be in need, just so I can pray for them…no! Yet, when I do give thanks to them, I often find myself in conversations about helping them, how to work with them, and what will bring them joy. Those conversations with the Holy One have been indescribable experiences. I still give thanks to God each and every day, but one evening out of the other six is devoted to being thankful.

              I hope that your Thanksgiving celebration is filled with joy and good food! I also hope and pray that you realize that God loves you so much he wants to give you everything you need and maybe he doesn’t require a “Thank You”, but offering one tells God and everyone else that we know how blessed we are, how gifted we are, how loved we are.

               Happy Thanksgiving!

Pastor Mona