Return Thanks at Thanksgiving

thank“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” Luke 17:15-18

I have a dear friend who often refers to the act of praying before eating as “returning thanks.” I have often wondered why? I should ask her, but I did a little “Googling” (did you know that is a recognized verb now?) and found out that it is a late 19th century British phrase (of course!). Its literal meaning is to say “thank you in return for the kindness or service you have done for me.” Return-thanks cards were sent or given to convey thanks for a thing received or done, nowadays we would call it a “thank-you card”.

In the passage above from Luke 17, we are told that out of TEN lepers whom the Lord Jesus healed from that physically debilitating and socially isolating disease, only ONE returned “giving Him thanks…to give glory to God”. What a shame! But aren’t we the same way? How much does the Father give us every day that we take for granted and neglect to return “giving Him thanks…to give glory to God”?

So, as I think it through, I think I like the phrase “return thanks”! We just celebrated the season of Thanksgiving– a time when we “return thanks” to our Lord and Creator for the MANY blessings He has bestowed on us. l think it’s a shame that this holiday, established very early in America’s history by many of our presidents, seems to get swept aside and engulfed between the more commercialized Hallowe’en and Christmas. It is a wonderful season to gather with family and friends, as we did a few days ago, over a bountiful meal and “return thanks” to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ for our God Himself, our Salvation, our families, our friends, our Church, our needs being provided, our freedoms, and as believers — our future home in Heaven.

Now that’s a lot of thanks to return in return for a lot!

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

What if you woke up today with only what you thanked God for yesterday?


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