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Did I Give Thanks Today?

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;

I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

2 I will be glad and exult in you;

I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Psalm 9:1-2

Yesterday, I filled in for another teacher to teach the children during Children's Church. On most Sunday mornings, our local church teaches the school-aged children in another room outside of the Sanctuary. The adults are able to focus on the lessons of the sermon, and the children are able to learn at their own level, called Children's Church or Junior Church. The teachers are allowed to do their own lessons and curriculum. I chose to start out the first week of November to focus on thanking God.

One of the students read aloud Luke 17:11-19, "Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers". To summarize, ten lepers from a village called out to Jesus to heal them. Jesus immediately told them to go to the priests to show that they had been healed. They were being healed as they walked/ran to the priests. Only one of the ten turned back to praise God and thank Jesus. Jesus questioned why only one had turned to give thanks, and it was the foreigner, the Samaritan.

Before reading this account, we discussed leprosy and what being a leper at that time meant. Also, since it was the day after trick-or-treating for most of us, we talked about saying "thank you" to anyone who gave them a treat. After reading the story, I happened to have 11 students in class, so we acted it out. The students came back to the tables so they could represent the story on paper with simple stick figures. So, for the kids to learn that Jesus healed ten lepers and only one thanking Him, my students heard it, read it, acted it out, talked about it, and drew it. To teach them to thank God, we created calendars to remind us to thank God every day for at least one thing.

We can thank God for the miracles, but we can also thank Him for the little, everyday things too. I should be grateful every day, but November really gives me a chance to name my blessings. Thanksgiving Day comes near the end of the month (November 26th this year), but I don't have to save up all of my gratitude until then! I also don't need to tell others all the things I am grateful for, but I can if I want to! As Psalm 9 reminds us, we can thank God for everything, no matter what seems to be going on in our world. He is the One who is wonderful, and we should praise him always!

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