1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Giving thanks or living in gratitude goes beyond the “mine” and “thine” and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.
Gratitude as a discipline, involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. Gratitude can be lived even in pandemics and chaos. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint. . . . The choice for gratitude can take effort but each time I make it, the next choice is a little easier, a little freer, a little less self-conscious. . . . There is an Estonian proverb that says: “Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.” Acts of gratitude make one grateful because, step by step, they reveal that all is grace. See you a little later as we look deeper into the abundance of God's gifts.
Almighty God may all glory and honor be yours. Help me Lord in these times of trials to bring hope to others through seeing the blessings of today. Lord forgive me of my sinfulness. Forgive me of falling into the trap of complaining and focusing on the negatives. May I be, with your help, a voice of unity and hope. Father, give me this strength. In Jesus' name I pray.
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006