September 01, 2017

Gratitude’s Beginnings

1 Chronicles 16:7-36

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

—  1 Chronicles 16:34

This month we set our hearts on gratitude. Gratitude is good for us. Even science has proven it. The physician and researcher Hans Seyle, who extensively studied the negative effects of stress on humans, concluded that the best antidote to stress is gratitude. Of course, there’s much more to it than what science can name, because gratitude is rooted in God. Out of the groundswell of God’s goodness gratitude grows.

In ancient Israel, King David’s whole being responded to God’s goodness. In this song of praise we see that David’s gratitude springs from God’s creational activity. Our first evidences of God’s goodness are in creation. David calls for the heavens to rejoice and the earth to be glad. He invites the sea to resound, the fields to be jubilant, and the trees of the forest to sing for joy. Why? Because the world is firmly established. In the beginning God acted with goodness in establishing this world, and God continues to sustain it by his costly grace. It’s been said that if the essence of God is goodness and grace, the essence of God’s people is gratitude.

When we take time to recall God’s goodness and grace, our hearts tune in to the grateful melody all creation sings. So let’s join the sea and fields and trees today and sing for joy!

Creator God, we lift our hearts to you in gratitude for this beautiful world you have made. Thank you for all you have done for us. We give thanks in the name of Jesus, through whom we have received grace upon grace. Amen.

About the author — Ruth Boven

Ruth Boven serves as minister of congregational life at LaGrave Ave. CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Greg, have two adult children. They find rich purpose in urban ministry and delight in enjoying the wonders of God's good creation.

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