We arrive back in the last week of November. The crisp air whispers to the leaves to begin their freefall.

And with it brings Thanksgiving, our annual time to remember to give thanks.

Songs encourage us to “count our blessings.” Paintings of pilgrims’ hands folded in prayer grace blog posts. The question of the hour is, “what are you thankful for?”

Each person has something to be thankful for. Jesus demonstrated that.

In Luke 17, Jesus encounters a vagabond group of outsiders. They are lepers banished from society lest they afflict their brethren. They cry, “have mercy on us.”


And Jesus heals them, and they run for the priest to pronounce them clean.

We know the story. A single one returns, and Jesus is both puzzled and amazed.

“Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.” (Luke 17:15–16)

In that verse is the heart of gratitude. A person cannot be thankful for what he has. He can only be grateful for what he has been given. Grace and gratitude intertwined at heart.

So as the turkey is carved and potatoes passed, don’t think about what you have. Remember what you have received from the Lord.

Happy Thanksgiving.

-Robert G. Taylor-