I live in the South, complete with all four seasons, sweet tea, and southern hospitality. Down here, we use our manners with maam’s and sir’s. We hold the door open for each other. We even send the obligatory Thank You note when we receive a gift or some touching act of kindness. Those notes have become something we almost expect. It lets the gift giver know the gift was appreciated….not taken for granted. Oh, the recipient sometimes waves off the need for the gift-giver to write a thank-you note with something like, “Don’t worry about sending a Thank You note. Just save that stamp!” But, don’t be fooled. They’re checking their mailbox. Some of us proper Southerners even have standard “Thank you” prose on hand for quick note-writing. Just sayin’…
Not long ago, I gave gifts to a few close friends. Nothing fancy; just a thoughtful token in a pretty bag. I was so excited, though, to surprise these friends with an unexpected treat. I get almost as excited as they do! But, here’s what I’ve noticed over my years of gift-giving: some people simply say thanks; others enthusiastically light up and hug me. I LOVE the over-the-top reactions. In some crazy way, I just want to know that I’ve made life a little better for them; that somehow my gift was the end-all be-all of their day. (Now that I think about it, I may have a few ego issues to work on.)
This Sunday is Easter. Without this day, without Jesus’ willingness to go to the Cross and sacrifice His life for me, I wouldn’t have access to Heaven, to God, or to abundant life here on Earth. Today, millions of believers across the world will celebrate the greatest gift ever given. And, Jesus just might be in Heaven right now watching His children and wondering who will nonchalantly say thanks and who will go over-the-top and enthusiastically say, “WOW! REALLY? FOR ME? THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH. YOUR GIFT IS THE END-ALL BE-ALL!”
Luke 11:11-17 tells us that He notices when people are appreciative. It also tells us that He notices when we are not. I guess Jesus checks His own “mailbox”, too.
Will you celebrate Jesus with all your heart this Easter? Will you take some special time to say thanks for the wonderful gift He gave YOU?
11 As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. 12 As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” 16 He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.
Happy Easter, my friends,