12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.
13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests. ”And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?
18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”
19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”
As you are reading this, presumably on “Black Friday,” I am planning to be at home, still contemplating this Thanksgiving weekend. I am long past feeling the need to get “my fair share” of fabulous bargains and shouldering and elbowing my way through the narrow aisles made more narrow by crates of cut-rate DVDs and Hot Wheels cars. I feel content, and for that I am very thankful.
There were many years that I didn’t feel this contentment and I would be positioning myself as close to the front doors of the big box stores as anyone and politely (after all, I am a pastor) but strategically planning to make my way to the most coveted deals. It has been awhile since I have realized I have reached “critical mass” (somewhere around 2011) and to be honest, more than critical mass to the point I have felt at times, burdened by my possessions.
Too many times I have been in the company of the nine individuals who received something far beyond what they could have hoped for and yet were too busy to get to the Shop Mart for the next great thing, rather than considering stopping and offering thanks for what they had received. So, today I am basking in an intentional moment of thankfulness. I have been given a wonderful family, grandchildren, people that mean the world to me. And, I am thankful that I am content.
Don’t get me wrong, I hope all of those people who are enjoying the hustle and bustle of Black Friday get what they need; they can have mine if it helps. And, they are keeping our local governments afloat with the taxes they are paying, doing their part to keep snow removal funded. I do hope that it will occur to them sooner than it did to me, that they too have been given so much more than we often appreciate and take the time to give thanks. It makes us well.
Rev. Stephen Brown is the Lead Pastor at Kenai New Life Assembly of God at 209 Princess Street, Kenai. Stephen and his wife, have pastored in Kenai for 31 years. www.kenainewlife.org.
Rev. Stephen Brown is the Lead Pastor at Kenai New Life Assembly of God at 209 Princess Street, Kenai. Stephen and his wife, have pastored in Kenai for 31 years. www.kenainewl ife.org .