Living Beyond the Attitude of Gratitude
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Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble
3 and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to a city to dwell in;
5 hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
till they reached a city to dwell in.
8 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man! – Psalm 107:1-8
As I celebrate Thanksgiving today, there are many things that come to mind for which I am thankful. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be with family during this holiday. I’m thankful for the abundant spread of foods that we will enjoy. I’m thankful for the fun we’ll have around the table at the meal, and afterwards as we play Catan with our grandchildren, or other games of their choosing. I’m thankful for family we’ll zoom or Skype with today. I’m thankful for the faith we hold in common, and pray that every family member will one day embrace the faith we hold so dear. I am thankful most of all for the substance and object of our faith: the grace of God in Jesus Christ, and the gifts of the Father, the giver of every good and perfect gift.
This psalm is a helpful reminder, however, not only to be thankful for the blessings of God, but to the One who gives these gifts. Our God is a good and gracious God, who has revealed himself in his Son, Jesus Christ, and gave us his Holy Spirit to bring us to faith, keep us in that faith, and propel us to love and good works.
An attitude of gratitude is a good thing. It has been shown to be a positive influence on peoples’ emotional wellbeing. There are plenty of people who will this day express an attitude of gratitude. They will also advocate for others to embrace gratitude as attitude especially on this day. That’s a good start. But the fullness of gratitude expresses that thankfulness to God, and calls him by name.
Thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; one God, now and forever! Amen.