What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me? Psalm 116:12 

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:15-16 NKJV

Many people write daily in a Gratitude journal. It’s a place to record things you are thankful for, people that have been kind, the beauty of nature that day. It can also be gratitude for something you have learned to do and can now share, a book or play that has inspired you or a memorable experience. One friend writes in hers every night, recording three things she is grateful for that day.

The writer of Psalm 116 starts out relating what wonderful things God has done for him and the people. Then, starting in verse 12, writes about how God can be repaid. What can we return to God that even comes close to what He has given us? The Psalmist lists calling on the name of the Lord, fulfilling vows, and serving God all in the presence of others. We can thank God for what we have received by in turn serving others.

Luke relates the familiar story of Jesus healing 10 people with leprosy and having only one return to give thanks. The others happily run to the high priest to show that they are healed. The Samaritan sees that he is healed and returns to Jesus to say thank you. Simple and direct. Just say thank you to express your gratitude. We can do this! We first need to pay attention and notice what we receive from God and from other people. Then, take the time to truly be thankful and let others know.

Giver of all good gifts, what can we give to you in response to your many blessings bestowed on your creation and each of us? Any sacrifice pales in comparison to your generosity. Therefore, we will give you what you desire most: our humble, thankful hearts. We will give to others what pleases you most: justice and mercy. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Chris Gabel