Giving Thanks

Luke 17:11-19

As a result of a conversation we had during a marriage enrichment study, I decided to write a note of thanks to my in-laws, expressing my gratitude at the superb job they did at raising the man I married.  It took a few minutes of my time and one postage stamp. The reaction on the other end was surprise, joy and deep appreciation.  The power of a short little note of thanks amazed me.

Maybe you are a writer of or have been a recipient of hand-written thank you notes.  They are not as common as they used to be, and when we get one at our house, we are both touched and appreciative.  There is something special about taking the time to express gratitude, no matter the scenario which called for gratitude, no matter to whom the thanks are due. Taking the time to express gratitude to God is worth doing on a regular basis.

Let’s take a closer look at the story of the healed leper who came back to express his gratitude.  First, we have to imagine that all of the ten lepers who were healed through their encounter with Jesus were ecstatic.  They had been living a life separated from their families and their friends, unable to draw near the community due to their contagious skin disease. Continue reading “Giving Thanks”

Where Does the Money Go? 

Luke 16:1-13                       9.29.19

Can we talk about money at church?  It is a topic that we tend to shy away from.  We try to avoid embarrassing those people who don’t have a lot of it, or those people who do have a lot of it but are not very generous with it, or those people who are very generous and want it to be kept quiet.  We don’t want to step on anyone’s toe, and we want to keep everyone happy.  Talking about money at church gets a little dicey, especially since what you put in the offering plate goes toward putting food on my table!

But Jesus stepped on toes!  All the time.  Ouch! We find in the gospel of Luke that Jesus is not afraid to talk about money.  It is never the amount that is important, but always the relationship with our money that makes a difference to him.  And then how our relationship with money ends up affecting our relationship with others and with God.   How do we look at our money?  Do we control our money, or does it control us?  Do we hoard our money, or do we use it to build relationships with others?  Continue reading “Where Does the Money Go? “