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Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Once again I wrestle with gratitude and its importance to our lives in faith.  Gratitude has become a buzzword which may seem to cheapen it, but giving thanks holds great value.  It is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus.  Thanks giving opens up a new way of seeing the world.  It dispels grumpiness, selfishness and a tendency to despair.   This week I invite us again to consider gratitude.

Gratitude reminds one of positive change in this world when we fear for our world or way of life.

       I am grateful my husband and I can be legally married throughout the U.S., which was not the      case even in our teenage years.

       I am grateful for the pure joy of a child awaiting “the kiss” during a wedding ceremony in which the couple both are men.

       I am grateful for the deeper and more open examination of race to allow a range of perspectives which show the complex and more complete history of our nation.  

       I am grateful for friendships that continue and deepen even when we disagree about some of the above.

“Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks.”   Philippians 4:6

Gratitude allows one to set aside anxiety.

      I am grateful I can leave my car unlocked unintentionally and not worry about thieves that come in the night. 

      I am grateful for ready access to clean water, to food, to shelter and to warmth.  

      I am grateful for friendship and the community of Christ Church.

      I am grateful I can help care for others who need food, water, shelter, warmth, and a friendly ear.

      I am grateful others can help me, and I give thanks for mutuality in giving-receiving.

Give thanks to the Lord because he is good; God’s faithful love lasts forever.”

Psalm 136:1

      I am grateful our lives exist in God in whom we live, breathe and have our being.

      I am grateful for the opportunity to share the experience of being rooted in God’s love.

      I am grateful for worship in which we name clearly the blessing of God’s Kingdom and offer praise and thanksgiving.

This Sunday as we celebrate our lives in Christ we shall begin our worship with the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address, which the confederation of six indigenous nations in our region use to start a gathering.  This address offers us the experience of naming the wide range of gifts of creation which sustain our lives on this earth.   

May the practice of gratitude lead to gentleness and kindness for one another and this planet. May it help us become more aware of God’s steadfast love and presence.  May giving thanks allow us to see anew and be at peace. 

With every blessing, 

Mother Elizabeth