Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Eucharisteo... One Word

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him, and he was a Samaritan. ~ Luke 17:15-16

: ) I found this video and song this morning.  Not what I would normally choose, but even though I am not crazy about some of his choice of images....I simply couldn't help but smile looking at some of the other images, and just listening to his simple words.

"...My brain's insane...Overwhelm is just my state of mind...My lips get blamed..."

Ha! That would often be me.

It has been a rough two days, yet reading the story of the Ten Lepers from Luke and listening to this video...I'm smiling.

The story of the Ten Lepers from Luke 17 is one of my favorites.  When I was young, I would hear this story and wonder... "The one came back and Jesus told him to 'rise up and go, your faith has made you well'. (Luke 17:17-19)...but wasn't he already healed?"

I used this story in a sermon last year, asking, "What does Jesus mean when he says, 'your faith has made you well.'?"

Ann digs into this story and shares that in the Greek, "well" is the word "sozo".  There are many translations of this word, but, Ann writes, its literal meaning is "to save."
Sozo means salvation. It means true wellness, complete wholeness. To live sozo is to live the full life. Jesus came that we might live life to the full. He came to give us sozo. Ann asks, When did the leper receive sozo - the saving to the full, whole life? When he returned and gave thanks. I lay down my pen. (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p 38-39)
Ahhhhh.... Our very saving is associated with gratitude.

Jesus said, "Thy faith has saved you." and the leper's faith was one that drove him to his knees in gratitude.  Soooo....does Jesus count thanksgiving as integral in a faith that saves?
...How else do we accept His free gift of salvation if not with thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our 'Yes!' to His grace. (Ibid)
"If the church is in Christ, its initial act is always an act of thanksgiving, of returning the world to God." ~ Alexander Schmemann

Ann challenges me to consider her insight, "If I am truly in Christ, mustn't my initial act, too, always be an act of thanksgiving, returning to Jesus with thanks on my lips?"

I wrote of the trip to help my daughter and her new baby. Since being with them...this precious baby has spent more time crying than sleeping.  My daughter at times has spent more time crying than anything else....and I feel helpless.

Added to my sense of helplessness is my worry of work I need to be accomplishing for the church.  I have done some things by phone as I have "danced" with Gabriel, yet many things need to be done at the computer and finding time for this work...

I listen to this baby cry, I watch my daughter sink into depths of exhaustion and sadness, I consider the agenda and budget that needs to be proofed, I think about the bulletin and that sermon, and then my own pain...  And I ask, how can I get on my knees in gratitude?

Ann offers me a verse from the Psalms: He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God ~ Psalm 50:23

Thanksgiving - giving thanks in EVERYTHING

The act of offering my thank offerings up to God - the small things like pain, a crying baby and exhausted daughter...all the way up to those things much more "devastating"... This act of offering up thanks to God opens a way for God to show me His fullest salvation from bitter, angry, resentfulf lives and from all sin that blocks an open and full relationship Him...

At the Eucharist, Christ breaks His heart to heal ours (mine) - Christ, the complete accomplishments of our salvation. And the miracle of the eucharisteo never ends: thanksgiving is what precedes the miracle of that salvation being fully worked out in our lives. Thanksgiving - giving thanks in everything - is what prepares the way for salvation's whole restoration. Our salvation in Christ is real, yet the completeness of that salvation is not fully realized in life until the life realizes the need to give thanks. In everything?(Voskamp, p 40)
If this is true, I will never experience the fullness of my salvation until I express the fullness of my thanks every day, and eucharisteo is elemental to living the saved life.
All those years thinking I was saved and had said my yes to God, but was really living the no. Was it because I had never fully experienced the whole of my salvation? Had never lived out the fullest expression of my salvation in Christ? Because I wasn't taking everything in my life and returning to Jesus, falling at his feet and thanking him. I sit still, blinded. This is why I sat all those years in church but my soul had holes had never fully healed.
Eucharisteo, the Greek word with the hard meaning and the harder meaning to live - this is the only way from empty to full. (Ibid)
Wow....some heavy and deep thoughts to consider....

Know what story comes to mind?

Well, actually, parable....  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle...(Mark 10:25)

...a rich man.

As a child and as an adult, I thought of "rich man" as someone with an abundance of riches, yet, I am rich and all to often, I take my riches/blessings for granted.  All to often, I am like the Nine Lepers....running into life with little thought of the Source of Life.

.....some heavy and deep thoughts to consider. I don't like to think of myself as being one of the Nine. : )
The way through is hard. But do I really want to be saved?
I suppose this may be my salvation.... That I need to sit with and ponder.  However, I am holding that this "Eucharisteo" may be the secret of a fuller life here on earth.

Another "personal testimony" video this morning... Funny...I guess these are speaking to my heart this morning rather than some of the more professional clips available...

Well....precious baby is crying once more....  Lord, open my heart to Eucharisteo....

Many Blessings ~ Sandi


  1. Thankfulness amist pain and sorrow...thank you for this!

  2. I appreciate your honest look at the depths of gratitude. I enjoyed the images and video clips. May I be mindful of giving thanks in all situations and especially before I speak or act.