Saturday, November 26, 2016

The First Thanksgiving

Since Thanksgiving was this week, my immediate family and I were able to spend some extra time with our extended families. It is always nice to get together with our grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends to share a meal and conversations. This time of year brings about special, warm feelings of happiness and cheerfulness about the things we may feel like we have accomplished during the year. More important than feeling cheerful is feeling grateful.
In the book of Luke in the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, there is a story of Jesus healing ten lepers. In Chapter Seventeen, between the verses of eleven and nineteen, Luke describes how Jesus entered a village where some men when who had leprosy called out to Jesus. They asked for Jesus’ mercy on them, to heal them of the disease they carried. He did show them the power of his healing. Jesus sent them to the priests to declare that, indeed, they had been cleansed. It turns out that of the ten lepers, only one returned to Jesus to give his thanks for his healing. A leper was not able to live with his family, or they would be infected. He was not able to hold down a job, or even dwell in the village as a valued countryman. He was reduced to being a beggar on the street to feed himself. The gift Jesus gave in healing these sick men was a renewed lifestyle, as well as a renewed life pain free.
It would seem that the men would be very aware of the miracle of healing. When they were healed, their skin was restored to a healthy glow instead of the pasty white color they had known, covered with scabs and oozing sores. Most of the ill could only think of themselves, though. They mistakenly thought they had not needed anyone or anything else. How quickly they had forgotten what Jesus had done for them.

They had done nothing but ask Jesus for healing. It was by God’s grace and mercy that each one had received an outpouring of love (a gift offered to each one of us, if we only ask). It was ultimately very important, though, to give God the thanks and glory due Him for the undeserved, unexpected health awarded them. Jesus knew they should have fallen to their knees in thanksgiving and praise to God. He was probably saddened to see that most of them didn’t even think of it. The truth is, they thought only of themselves. Unfortunately, though they were healed that day, they were not saved with eternal salvation. It was the act of being truly thankful that saved the one leper who remained to give Jesus the praise He richly deserved. The other nine would go on to lose their lives, eventually.

Monday, November 7, 2016

"The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility."

It is now the time to show political involvement, if you are over eighteen and are a legal citizen in these United States. Simply because we live here, we have a responsibility to our families, neighbors, and countrymen to place over vote for the candidate we consider best able to run our country. Before we are able to make a valid choice, though, we should take the time to get acquainted with the politicians running and the platforms they have put forth.

To paraphrase Luke 12:48 in the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required, and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” While Luke was not one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, it should be noted that he was a physician. He was a learned scholar. He was someone who had worked and studied to become a helper to others. He never personally knew Jesus. He became a follower after Christ’s death, when he met Paul and came to Christianity. It seems that according to Luke, not only do we have the responsibility to use our knowledge-but to take it a step further-that we have the responsibility to gain knowledge. It is no wonder Luke became a saint.
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Some people, for whatever reason, are not as fortunate in life as others. I believe that each person should help others in any way possible. I do believe that it is my duty to offer others any assistance that I am able to offer. To me, like Luke, I have an obligation to better myself by getting as much education as I can. Not only will I be helping myself, but my family, as well. I have been taught to help myself first; then, I can expect help from others. If I am putting forth the effort, I find that others are willing to extend their help. Often, after I try, I find I don’t need others to help, and the satisfaction feels very good. I would like to think that knowledge brings ethic along, but I’m afraid that is wishful thinking. At times, it is the most uneducated person that is most willing to give aid or shelter when needed. I want to be the person who has knowledge, and is using it for the good of others.