On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-19
Martin Luther was once asked to describe the nature of true worship. His answer: the tenth leper turning back. This passage from Luke is the gospel reading assigned for Thanksgiving Day, and it points us to the importance of giving thanks. There are also some other details in this story that speak to our Thanksgiving Day experiences.
Jesus, on his way to Jerusalem, finds himself in an in-between place where Jews and Samaritans meet. There was long-standing conflict between Jews and Samaritans. Samaritans are the other, the enemy. But yet in the Gospel of Luke, Samaritans are the exemplar of loving our neighbors and of giving thanks. By using Samaritans in this way, Luke invites us to see that the Samaritans are not the enemy, but instead are our neighbors that we can learn something from.
Family gatherings can be in-between places, where folks with lots of history and baggage come together. In 2020, our Thanksgiving Day should look quite different. We will be spread out in backyards or joining by Zoom, and there will likely be points of disagreement and tension. When you are fed up with wearing a mask, I hope you give thanks that you have the chance to protect those around you by leaving your mask on. And when someone says something you disagree with, or someone can’t work Zoom right, I hope that you give thanks that you can gather with friends or family even with COVID-19 precautions.
If we focus on giving thanks, we will spend less time being frustrated with the weirdness of Thanksgiving Day 2020.
- 3-6 p.m. Drop-in Hours at Trinity Commons
Come by for a chat or just to take a break.
- 6 p.m. Worship at Trinity Commons & Zoom
Join us for Holy Eucharist in the chapel. Wear a mask and invite a friend. You can also join us via Zoom.