Reflections 11-22-17

 Thanksgiving Day
 November 23, 2017

 Psalm 9:1
 I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

 2 Corinthians 9:8
 God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. 

 Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, your generous goodness comes to us new each day. May your Spirit lead us to recognize your goodness, give thanks for your benefits, and serve you each day, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


Social Science has examined and researched gratitude. They have declared it to be a good thing for people. 

From Psychology Today:
Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has—as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants. Gratitude is getting a great deal of attention as a facet of positive psychology: Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, gratefulness—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy.

The LA Times identifies 10 benefits of gratitude. Blogger Amit Amin discovered that research has identified at least 31 benefits of gratitude.

Wow.

But.

Martin Luther wrote that everything we possess, and everything in heaven and on earth besides, is daily given, sustained, and protected by God… we are bound to love, praise, and thank him without ceasing, and, in short, to devote all these things to [God’s] service

Saint Augustine said: All is grace, all is gift.


Even when we don’t notice,
God’s extravagant gifts continue
to surround us, and fill us, and connect us 
with everyone and everything,
Showering our lives with grace. 
-Extravagant Gratitude, from the Seekers Church: A Christian Community

We thank you, our creator,
for all things bright and good,
the seed time and the harvest,
our life, our health, our food.
No gifts have we to offer
for all your love imparts,
but what you most would treasure—
our humble, thankful hearts.  
All good gifts around us
are sent from heav'n above.
We thank you, Lord, 
       we thank you, Lord,
for all your love.
- We Plow the Fields and Scatter, in the public domain

I suppose it is nice that being grateful is beneficial. 
I should be grateful, right??

That is not the point for me. 
In my experience, gratitude has very little to do with me. Gratitude rises from humble recognition of dependence on God. Gratitude arises from relationship with unfathomable love. Gratitude arises from awe.

And, gratitude causes me to care. I cannot be grateful without recognizing that there are many who do without those things for which I give thanks: those who have no shelter; those who have no food or safe water; those who live in the midst of violence and war; those who are in pain; those who are full of fear and confusion; those who are alone and forgotten.

So, what do I do with that?

What do you do with that?



For what do you give thanks this week?

Your comments are always welcome below.
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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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