Thank you or Thanks. Webster defines this as "an expression of gratitude." This word is used as a way of expressing gratitude for what one has done for another. The circumstances in which this word is used typically involves one person needing the help or assistance from another, because he/she is unable, in his/her own strength to meet the need. Such a little word (sonically and rhythmically) has so much depth; yet, so many of us are unable to submit ourselves to the depths of this word.
One Sunday, my pastor was speaking about the marriage between grace and thanksgiving. A statement he made that resonates with me still is, "whenever we think about the grace of God, there should be an offering of thanksgiving in our hands."
Let us ponder on that for a moment...
Just the very thought of God's grace should evoke praise and thanksgiving. Grace is simply unmerited favor. It is something that is given that you (nor I) did not, and more importantly, could not earn with our own strength.
Thank you or thanks is the acknowledgment that you were unable to achieve a particular goal without assistance. When we refuse to thank God for His grace and mercy, what we are really saying is that we "woke ourselves up this morning," "we landed that job," we "cheated death," we "beat cancer," we "earn this money," we, we, we, I, I, I. This selfish disposition goes against the very principles of Christianity.
An example of this can be found in Luke 17:11-19. Here we have a group of 10 leprous men on the outskirts of the city crying out to Jesus, asking Him to have mercy on them. Mercy.
As with grace, mercy can only be demonstrated when an offense has been done. By begging for mercy, one acknowledges that he/she has charged an offense that he/she is unable to pay. With any debt, there is a penalty for lack of, and even late payments. Mercy waives these penalties. Mercy waives this debt. Mercy cannot be bought, it can only be granted.
Mercy is what these men were begging Jesus for. They were begging for this because they realized the solution to their issue was beyond their control, and Jesus was the only one capable of helping them.
This is a great example of grace and mercy...unmerited and undeserved.
Only one, however, truly understood what occurred. Only one was appreciative of what Jesus did for them. Only one was grateful for the mercy Jesus demonstrated that day. Only one truly understood the magnitude of that moment; which is why he was the only one to return to say thank you.
There is so much more to unpack with this story, (especially with the one who returned being a Samaritan) but for now, I simply want us to focus on returning to give thanks for what Jesus has done for us. Having said that, I leave you with this question:
Will you be (1) one of the (10) ten?
Grace and Peace,