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The pandemic seems to be over but the impact of it lingers on.  Our confidence and trust in so many things have been challenged and damaged.  We don’t trust the news, the government, or each other nearly as much.  Our fear and mistrust also breed a cynical and discouraging spirit that only focuses on what is wrong with the world, rather than seeing the hopeful possibilities of life. Disappointment becomes an expectation and a self-fulfilling prophecy.  How do we begin to change our expectations and refocus on the possibilities that will lift our spirits?  In our series Jesus Gets Us, we encounter a powerful possibility to envision a different future with the sermon Got Thankfulness? Jesus’s life is a witness to thankfulness regardless of the challenges that he faced.  His disciples often misunderstood his teaching, he was constantly being pressed by the crowds for miracles, and he would live under constant threat from the Jewish leadership!  Yet, he was patient, compassionate, and forgiving.  Jesus understands the pressure of life, but he also understands the transformative power of a thankful heart.  We turn to Luke 17:7-19 as our focus for this week.  As you read these words, they may seem disconnected because it is a parable that is followed by the healing of ten lepers.  These lepers are told to go and show themselves to the priest to certify that they were truly healed.  As they make their way to the temple, they realize they are cleansed of their disease.  Only one of the ten, a despised Samaritan, returns to Jesus with an exuberant thankfulness.  There is a great lesson between the parable and the thanksgiving of the healed Samaritan.  As we travel from one to the other, we find the transformative power of praise and thanksgiving for our lives and actions!  This is our most earnest prayer that you will be filled to overflowing with thankfulness for our Savior even amid pressures, uncertainties, and doubts as you read Luke 17:7-19: 

 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that, you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'” 11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him– and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (NIV)