21 Nov Gratitude: Astounded by Wonder
Happy Thanksgiving! Gratitude is a deeply spiritual discipline, one that people of faith all around the world are encouraged to practice regularly. But I am still glad we have a special day devoted to gratitude in the United States. Yes, it is also a day devoted to the gathering of family and friends, feasting on turkey and dressing, and perhaps a game of flag football, weather permitting. But, the day invites us to pause and reflect on the generosity that continually floods our lives.
Our schedules can be so busy, so crowded with commitments and responsibilities, events and activities, that many blessings sit right under our noses, yet we are oblivious to them. As a result, our days are devoid of the thankfulness that would permeate our lives with meaning, perspective and joy. When was the last time you breathed a sigh of gratitude for your five senses? For your neighborhood garbage service and the workers who haul your trash away? For the medicine that keeps your blood pressure regulated? For those who tend and teach our children? When was the last time you consciously thought about what a gift it is that our libraries are stocked with books—and that we’ve been taught how to read them? I could go on and on and on and on and on……and so could you. Our lives are overflowing with gifts and goodness for which giving thanks is the only reasonable and logical response.
Scripture is full of psalms of thanks, and through the centuries many hymns have been added to express our gratitude for the bounty we enjoy. One of my favorites is a relatively new hymn, as the words were written less than 50 years ago. We sang it this past Sunday in our worship, and I share it with you today as a wonderful way to say “thank you” to our generous Creator.
For the Fruit of All Creation
For the fruit of all creation, thanks be to God.
For the gifts to every nation, thanks be to God.
For the plowing, sowing, reaping, silent growth while we are sleeping,
future needs in earth’s safekeeping, thanks be to God.
In the just reward of labor, God’s will be done.
In the help we give our neighbor, God’s will be done.
In our worldwide task of caring for the hungry and despairing,
in the harvests we are sharing, God’s will be done.
For the harvests of the Spirit, thanks be to God.
For the good we all inherit, thanks be to God.
For the wonders that astound us, for the truths that still confound us,
most of all that love has found us, thanks be to God.
It is my prayer for you that you are still astounded by wonder, confounded by truth, and that you know the love of God who constantly seeks those who may be found.