Thank You Lord For What You've Done For Us!

A reading for Tuesday, June 2, 2015: Luke 17:11-19.

I was reading an article the other day about a church community in England. A few years ago, the church lost its building, and were devastated with such a lack of identity. They had few volunteers and no staff. A new pastor came to the church and began to encourage them to look around at the neighborhood where they were located for the gifts God had placed there.

They found compassion and generosity, trust and hope. There were good people living in that place, and in them were the exact characteristics they wanted to be part of. So they decided to host a community awards program, to recognize the good people of the neighborhood and to thank them for who they were for their neighbors.

Out of that experience, and many others, the church adopted a spiritual practice of "vulnerable gratitude." The article explains it this way:"Gratitude, because we can begin by approaching all of life as gift, to be received with thankfulness. Vulnerable, because such gratitude invites us to come into encounters with others, with open, empty hands. We’re used to talking the language of ‘service’, of obedience to Jesus’ command to wash feet. But it’s easy to forget that we’re first invited to let our feet be washed – and that, so often, is a whole lot harder to accept."

Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one returned offering thanks for the good gift of life and transformation. Perhaps the others didn't want to be vulnerable, or to recognize the gift that had been given to them. They were just ready to get on with it. They were already too busy to be open to what God had done for them.

It's a simple re-orientation but profound. Vulnerable gratitude changes the way we see Jesus and the way we see others too. It changes the way we see our lives. It changes the way we see the church.

Thank you Lord for what you have done for us!

Here's the whole article: Community Building As Spiritual Practice


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