Living with Thanksgiving
"My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you've been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You're deeply rooted in him. You're well-constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you've been taught. School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving." Colossians 2:6-7 (The Message)
Each year around the time of the Thanksgiving holidays, we hear much about adopting an attitude of gratitude. I believe, however, that gratitude is more than an attitude, that it's an action exemplifying one's faith. In his letter to the Colossians, the Apostle Paul's words are a clear call to action! The believer's intimate, spiritual, living union with Christ is mentioned repeatedly in the letter.
Counting your blessings, naming them one by one, helps you to identify and focus more on the privileges you have and less on what you may lack in your life. A truly grateful heart sees each day as a gift, an opportunity to live into hope, to walk in the light of Christ, to serve others, and to live in accordance with the rules of Christ's kingdom.
The grateful heart is like a magnet sweeping over your day, collecting reasons for gratitude. For the warmth of the sun on bare skin, for twinkling stars that form constellations in the night sky, for the miracle of the beating heart, for purple mountain majesties, for the wonder of each hour of the day and night, for friends on earth and friends above, Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.
An encouraging word from Max Lucado provides this food for thought: "To reflect on your blessings is to rehearse God's accomplishments. To rehearse God's accomplishments is to discover God's heart. To discover God's heart is to discover not just good gifts, but the Good Giver." Since all blessings come from God, we are acknowledging God's accomplishments in and through our lives when we are living with thanksgiving in our hearts!
Prayer for Today
(From Peanut Butter and Jelly Prayers)
For all that you have made,
we give you thanks, gracious God;
for our homes, family, and friends;
for our country and its leaders;
for freedom and for those who have sacrificed
so much for that freedom;
and for all that you give us to eat this day - and always.
We remember those throughout
the world and in our country
who go hungry this day - and many other days.
Help us to share what we have:
a harvest of blessings and goodness.
In the name of Jesus,
who taught us about justice for all people, amen.