Give Thanks: Even Now - Reflections 11-24-2020

Thanksgiving 2020

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 for Thanksgiving 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. Amen.

I have found plenty of things that have prompted me to complain, to be angry, to weep, to be fearful - things that have thrown my life out of balance - during this siege of COVID.

The memes on Facebook have been as varied as my response. Many make me laugh because they seem so true… like ones involving the murder hornets, or the ones that speculate on what our next apocalyptic moment is going be. Some are heartbreaking by people who speak of those they have lost; others are discouraging from health care workers in a system that is on the edge of chaos; others are non-profits, national and international, which feed people, or house people who suddenly have found themselves without any way to feed their family and/or pay the rent and/or buy basic necessities.

Among those social media entries, there has also been one thread of wisdom through these months that gives me pause and causes a frown. Those memes tell that this experience should remind me to be grateful for what I have. Oh.

To drive that home, the prayer journal I am currently using has a section that says “I am grateful for….” Hmmm.

I guess the first things for which I should give thanks are those memes and prompts! I am humbled by those reminders.
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.
-from Extravagant Gratitude, the Seekers Church: A Christian Community

I do know it is good to give thanks to the Lord. 
Giving thanks lifts my eyes up – and away from my own belly-button (self-curved in on self).

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

Gratitude arises from recognition of dependence.
Gratitude arises from relationship.
Gratitude arises from awe.

Finally, gratitude causes me to care. I cannot be grateful without recognizing that, especially this year, but always, there are many who do without all of 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, here, in the midst of a COVID thanksgiving, what am I going to do with all that?

What are you going to do with that?

For what do you give thanks this week?

How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245