There is a story in the gospel of Luke, a story about 10 lepers who are healed…and only one goes back and worships Jesus. It’s tempting to read that story and give the message “be like that one leper!” But that assumes we have within us the power to do right by God. It assumes that we will do what most don’t, and prefer the giver more than the gift. In short, it assumes that we have some sort of ability that is not given to most.
How about we acknowledge the truth? The truth is that we need God’s Spirit to make a new heart within us AND continually remind us of our great salvation. The truth that we who are continually given so much (breath in our lungs, a beating heart, the ability to work and eat and love and think and praise) often and easily forget the giver and think that somehow we deserve the gift.
So hear in this story the truth: that God must (and does) continually work in us so that we will be…grateful. Seeing Jesus Christ is the root of gratitude, and that is a continuing work of God’s Spirit.