Pastor’s Blog: A Time for Gratitude

Categories: Pastors Blog

Celina, Anna, Luke, and I want to express our deepest gratitude for the generous gift that our Crossroads’ family shared with us in recognition of our 15th anniversary.
Jesus tells a story of 10 lepers healed of their leprosy. It is found in Luke 17:11-19. We read of Jesus and the disciples on their way to Jerusalem traveling along the border of Samaria and Galilee. As they entered a village, they encountered a group of ten lepers. Keeping their customary distance, they cried out to Christ, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” Jesus responds with a command for the men to go and show themselves to the priests. We understand by reading our Old Testament (Leviticus 13) that anyone with a skin condition was considered unclean and was therefore not allowed to worship within their community of faith. If the skin condition cleared up they could return and “show themselves” to the priest in order to verify that they were clean of whatever disease they had, they were then allowed back into the faith community to worship alongside their family, friends and neighbors. Few, if any, lepers had such a hope. Leprosy at the turn of the ages was a lonely, dead-end, existence. There was no cure. The leper’s nervous system is attacked and the body no longer responded to injuries to their extremities leaving wounds to become infected and become a doorway of disease for the rest of the body. These individuals most often died a terrible and lonely death. Now back to our story. The 10 turn to head to the local religious headquarters and as they head into town they realize their skin is being healed, restored, cured. One of them returns to Jesus, praising God in a loud voice. Jesus laments that the other nine went on their way, and that only this one, a Samaritan of all things, returned in gratitude.
More than likely, Luke intends the primary truth of this story to reflect on the rejection and indifference of the Jews as well as the openness of God’s purpose for all peoples, even the Samaritans. Another truth here is one that centers on gratitude. As I shared at the beginning of this article, I am grateful for each one of you and the role you have played in my family’s life. You have prayed for us and encouraged us. You have journeyed down this exciting trail of ministry with courage and excitement. But know this, ultimately all praise and gratitude, all honor and glory must go to God. He alone is our hope and stay. He alone sustains us and keeps us from falling. He alone has chosen to bless us with such a sweet time of ministry. And so we keep coming back to Jesus, praising God with a loud voice!

David Rice Pastor Crossroads Baptist Church Marshall txAll for Him,
Bro. David