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https://youtu.be/18oMVjb9zho   Jeremiah 29:1 New International Version

A Letter to the Exiles

29 This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.

Jeremiah 29:4-7

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

2 Timothy 2:8-15 New International Version

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

11 Here is a trustworthy saying:

If we died with him,
    we will also live with him;
12 if we endure,
    we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
    he will also disown us;
13 if we are faithless,
    he remains faithful,
    for he cannot disown himself.

Dealing With False Teachers

14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.


“We Will Never Forget”                    

 *Luke 17:11-19

Jesus Heals Ten Men with Leprosy

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[a] 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.”


“We Will Never Forget”
*Luke 17:11-19
9 October 2022
The Rev Dr. Dianne ES Carpenter


Why do you suppose the Samaritan came back to thank Jesus? After all, Jesus hadn’t made a formal thank you part of the bargain. He simply told them to go and show themselves to the priests. The Samaritan’s nine partners, obviously, felt no need to return. Why the Samaritan?

Perhaps he had a mother who drummed into him the obligation to write thank-you notes for birthday and Christmas gifts. Some of us remember the experience. But, clearly, more was at stake in this story than demonstrating polite social etiquette. Why did the Samaritan return?

Part of the answer may be found in the identity of this healed man. He was a leper like the other nine. But alone among the 10, he was a Samaritan. As a leper, he was unclean ritually and, therefore, to be isolated, causing revulsion and fear. And as a Samaritan he would have been seen as a despised outsider to the more orthodox Jews of Galilee. Perhaps this Samaritan leper suffered more and thus his healing evoked a more profound gratitude.

 Among the many things this healing accomplished was the breaching of a formidable boundary and the movement from painful isolation to grateful intimacy. Maybe that’s why the Samaritan came back out of a yearning for intimacy with God, a sense that faith cannot simply mean the performance of rituals and practices but lures us into relationship with God that is intimate, humbling, healing, even dependent.  He would never forget that Jesus touched him …

Forgetfulness is the root of many evils.

Forgetting the many ways that we are not self-made

Forgetting the opportunities and privileges we enjoy

Forgetting that we generally reap what we sow.

Remembering is a uniquely human activity

Remembering people and events from long ago…

pondering the beginning and the choices we have made… and the  results of those choices, that is a human activity

Did the 9 lepers forget that Jesus had answered their entreaty: “Lord have pity on us”

At least the Samaritan could now return to people who might love him.  Other Samaritans…  The man had been in the company of strangers for quite a while.  How often have we found ourselves ostracized?  Perhaps never, since we have are people who, as a rule, are experience ourselves as being accepted in the places where we go.

Some have suggested that we often act as though we are entitled to the goodness that we receive.  Entitlement is the root of the evil of the day.  It is pride personified and an expression of self-righteousness.  If Jesus had not healed them, would they have spent the rest of the day denouncing him, forgetting Him…

Entitlement leads to the sense of distance and isolation so many feel. It is a deep self-centeredness that assumes everything is my right, my due, an attitude that replaces concern for the community with a preoccupation with my own needs. It enables me to maintain my distance in the illusion of absolute independence. Healed of illness, we wander off like the nine because, after all, we’re entitled to health.

Maybe Mom was onto something more important than just proper etiquette when she drummed into us the importance of writing thank-you notes..” It’s more than just a lack of civility and good manners that diminishes life today. It’s the failure to realize that we live in a profoundly interdependent world, that the strength of our communities and the health of our souls comes not as entitlement or right, but as gift.

And, yes, even sending a thank-you note, as mothers perhaps instinctively knew, is far more than social convention, but an awareness that the best gifts and thus much of the joy of life are not things we can give ourselves but come from beyond us as an alluring expression of love, even an invitation to love. Each thank you becomes a way to practice gratitude so that more and more our lives are weaned away from the myth of entitlement and the arrogance and isolation of independence. Each thank you becomes a way to practice gratitude so that more and more our lives are shaped by the truth of our belonging to others, even to Christ.

The healthiest people I know are not the ones who delight in being the proverbial self-made man or woman. The healthiest people I know are those whose lives express a deep gratitude for everything and everyone that has reached across a boundary and border to enrich and embrace them. For them, dependence is not the dirty word we have sometimes made of it, but merely the simple pattern and the plain truth about life.

Being a thankful person is understanding that in many ways we are a gifted people.  Gifted by a creator God who places unique potentials within each of us and who constantly calls on us to use those potentials for the furtherance of the Kingdom.

Lest we forget, those people who have gone before us and their contributions to our personal lives and the life of the world.  We often say: “We will never forget the bravery of firefighters, soldiers, and EMT’s who selflessly place themselves in the path of danger for the sake of others.”  “We will never forget the sacrifices of a parent or the devotion of a teacher.”  We will never forget…. Or will we?

The Gloucester fishermen who went to sea to bring home food and whale oil to light the dark nights.

The pioneers who went into uncharted territory to break a trail for others to follow. 

We say: We will never forget, and we erect monuments so others will not forget.  Memorials in our country’s capital and memorials along our highways where someone important to someone ended their life.

As we remember people and places and retell the story of what they meant to us, we honor them and say thank you.  But they are not here to hear us thank you.

And so we get to the impact of this passage, to be truly thankful, we need to so conform our lives to the image of Christ that we live our humble thanks.  For Jesus, humbled Himself even to death upon a cross so that the world might know of God’s love and forgiveness. 

With the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth, we have been reminded that she represented a historic reality that was a legacy to the resent age.  Recessional” is a poem by Rudyard Kipling, which he composed on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

The poem is a prayer. It describes two fates that befall even the most powerful people, armies and nations, and that threatened England at the time: passing out of existence and lapsing from Christian faith into profanity. The prayer entreats God to spare “us” (England) from these fates “lest we forget” the sacrifice of Christ.

Lest We Forget

The phrase “lest we forget” forms the refrain of “Recessional.” It introduces the reason for the entreaty expressed in the poem: that God might spare England from oblivion or profanity “lest we forget” the sacrifice of Christ (“Thine ancient sacrifice”).

The phrase later passed into common usage after World War I across the British Commonwealth especially, becoming linked with Remembrance Day observations; it came to be a plea not to forget past sacrifices, and was often found as the only wording on war memorials, or used as an epitaph.

God of our fathers, known of old—
Lord of our far-flung battle line—
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies—
The Captains and the Kings depart—
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Far-called our navies melt away—
On dune and headland sinks the fire—
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe—
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard—
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding calls not Thee to guard.
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!


The Samaritan turned back and acknowledged the great gift of healing and wholeness, and Jesus knew that for this one man, it was worth having healed the 10 because this one had his faith increased.  Furthermore, this one had come into a give and take relationship with Jesus, while the other 9 were only “takers”.

There is a flow of “give and take” in every good relationship.  As we see God’s goodness in our lives…can we say Thank-you – we will never forget you Lord?  You made something beautiful of my life.

When I gave a baby gift to a friend who is about my daughter’s age, I received a note that read, You are one of a small handful of women I think of when I think of motherhood. I was always so envious of your children. You loved folding your children’s clothes and were always quick to whip up a chocolate chip cookie or other delicious snack, and your face would light up in a specific way when you spoke of your children. Thank you for always welcoming me into your home and for your warm hugs. You have made a large impact on me and my hopes of my relationship with my daughter. I have three children who know I love them. But when someone outside of your family recognizes that love, it makes it tangible and extra meaningful. —Denise Lapp, Valencia, California

I got a letter from a former student. I had retired from Margate Ele­mentary School and moved, but somehow, he found my address. He thanked me for requiring him to read on Christmas, Sundays, and even his birthday because his ability to read manuals allowed him to be a Marine helicopter repairman. He is now a corporal and told me he was deployed. I volunteer with Operation Shoebox, and we sent goody bags for his unit. I got a big thank-you letter and a picture of the Marines in front of their helicopter. He told me that some of the Marines had tears in their eyes because they never even get a letter from home. —Alva Alexander, The Villages, Florida

My sister-in-law sent me a thank-you note after I took care of her dogs while she and my brother-in-law were away. She wrote the letter as if it were from the dogs themselves, to thank me for taking care of them, and even included their paw prints. —Jodi Lueschow, Cresco, Iowa

I received a message over Facebook from a woman who said I had written her a note when she was in sixth grade, telling her to smile, that she was beautiful, and things would get better. She told me she had been contemplating suicide that day and I had saved her life. Today she has a beautiful family and two children. Be kind to one another. —K. K., via rd.com


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508 432-3734