SERMON RECAP: Thank You, Lord! based on Luke 17:11-19
Every year, we set aside a day to offer thanks to God for the blessings we have received. But in many cases, before the food has even settled, we begin thinking of all that which we do not have and want, the ultimate expression of a lack of gratitude. All our thankfulness disappears, and we miss the most important blessings right in front of us. However, for many who have known tragedy or trauma, they understand a lasting thankfulness and spirit of gratitude. Truly gratitude can help us lead fuller and happier lives.
This was a reality the Samaritan leper came to understand. Leprosy was a vicious disease, leading to open sores, disfigurement, and even loss of limb. The nerve ends and pain receptors are so damaged, a rat could chew off your finger, and you would not even feel it! Unlike so many diseases which you could hide, you could not hide leprosy. You were cast out of the town and village, having to be completely dependent upon the mercy of others for food left at the outskirts just to survive. And if you wanted to draw close to anyone, you had to shout “unclean” to let people know they need to stay away! It was a cursed and difficult life.
This man needed healing. Without a miracle, this man would live with the pain all of his days. Without a miracle, this man would never know the joy of being in a true community, nor would he know a God that cares and draws near. Further, he was an outsider, part of the hated Samaritans that the Jews worked so hard to ignore. But Jesus heard his cry, along with nine others, for mercy. And as this man placed his trust in Jesus’ word, being obedient, he experienced the healing he craved. His flesh was made new. He would be able to go home or worship the Lord with a community of faith. Jesus turned his world upside down. And with a heart filled with gratitude, he went back and thanked Jesus, knowing there was still a risk in the days ahead. And Jesus praised him and recognized his faith, expressed through his gratitude.
But the tragedy of this account was the nine others who were healed. They experienced the same blessing, but they did not return to express gratitude. They acted as if they expected Jesus to heal them. Then, when they were healed, they continued to take Jesus for granted, almost treating him like a genie in a bottle. And unfortunately, this is a trap we all fall into, only going to Jesus if there was a need.
How do we develop the spirit of gratitude as this Samaritan experienced? Recognize our true need for God. Recognize the undeserved grace we have received. Return to the only source of life, and then rest in the Lord’s goodness!
Questions for Reflection
1) What struggle do you have that you would be ashamed of for people to know? Can you give it to God for healing?
2) What is your view of God? How does it affect your relationship?
3) In what ways have you felt like an outsider?
4) What keeps you back from living in gratitude?
This Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent and will light the candle of Hope. We will celebrate the Hanging of the Greens and have the short meditation titled, “Light in the Darkness”, based on Isaiah 9:1-7. How powerful is hope? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for November 23 – 29
November 23: 2 Samuel 22 For what did David give praise?
November 24: Psalm 19 For what did David give praise?
November 25: Psalm 33 For what did David give praise?
November 26: Ephesians 1 Why was Paul thankful and grateful?
November 27: Philippians 4:10-20 Why was Paul thankful and grateful?
November 28: Jeremiah 33:14-16 What hope did God promise?
November 29: Isaiah 2:1-5 What hope did God promise?
This Week’s Events:
Saturday, November 27–Men’s Fellowship & Chrismon Tree, 9 am
Sunday, November 28–Hanging of the Greens Celebration
Wednesday, December 1–Worship Team @ 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 4–Women’s Fellowship Auction
Thursday, December 9–Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 pm
Thursday, December 9–Leadership Team Reorganization @ 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 11–McAvoy/Over Wedding @ 4 pm
Sunday, December 12–White Birch service @ 1:30 pm
Hanging of the Greens
Hanging of the Greens will be on Sunday, November 28, starting during morning worship and concluding with a fellowship meal afterward. Each family should bring: a carry-in dish to share; a Christmas ornament to be exchanged; a Christmas card for Beaver Creek Congregation; a donation for the amount you would normally spend on Christmas cards; children’s winter clothing items for the Mitten Tree; and food pantry items. You can bring a donation that Sunday, and also build a box of items as a reverse advent calendar this year!
We will take a pause from question/answer and listening sessions for the Advent Season. In January, we will schedule several different listening sessions as we continue to discern.
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s stories. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Call to Prayer & Discernment
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
7) Guidance for our congregation in the days ahead
Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
John Bennington (health)
Norman Clark (COVID)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Janet Good (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Heath Kimmell (health)
Gene LaPrade (health)
Larry LaPrade (COVID)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Marty Moore (recovery)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Lottie Ritchie (health)
Abbie Shiflet (health)
Chris Shirk (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB