October 18, 2010

So Many Gifts!

Psalm 100

As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved … be thankful.
Colossians 3:12-15


For Paul, thankfulness should describe how it is with us at the center of our lives: “Be thankful”—not, “Be nice,” or, “Be happy,” but, “Be thankful.”

That’s a challenge for us, isn’t it? We are not often encouraged to be thankful. We are more often told that we don’t have enough. There’s always a better car to buy, new fashions to keep up with, more money to make. It’s hard to be thankful when we’re busy trying to get what other people say we need.

We can’t buy thankfulness. We can’t go to our neighbor and ask to borrow a cup of thankfulness if we happen to be a bit short of it.

Thankfulness is not something outside of us; it’s inside, fighting with greed and desire and self-indulgence for the central place in our hearts.

Thankfulness is that attitude of the heart that sees the people around us as special gifts from God: our family members, our friends, our coworkers. Thankfulness sees God’s gifts and blessings everywhere: in nature, in people, in the things we have, in the things others have. We are gladdened by a telephone call, encouraged by a visit. We are surrounded by gifts, so we are thankful people.

Take note of the gifts you receive today, and be thankful for them!

Loving God, you bless us with wonderful gifts. We see them everywhere! Family, friends, work—and most important—your Son and his gift of life. Receive our thanks from the depths of our hearts. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Stob

Rev. Harvey Stob and his wife, Audrey, served as missionaries in Argentina for eleven years. They then served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Harvey retired from full-time pastoral work in 2009. He and Audrey have three children and seven grandchildren.

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