A Grateful Heart
November 15, 2019
What’s it like when you meet someone who has a grateful heart and way of life? They may not always agree with you or even get annoyed or grumpy sometimes, but most of the time they speak and act out of gratitude. You know what I mean. This is the person who looks underneath my faults and offers words of encouragement and support. This is the one who is quick to offer help when I’m anxious or overwhelmed. This is the friend who says, “Stop. Look around. See all that God has done and is doing for you. Take a breath. Give thanks for that breath. Decide which things are worth your time and energy.” In other words, the one who gently and compassionately holds me accountable and strengthens me.
How do people become like that, having a grateful heart and way of life? Sometimes they’ve had to make their way through sorrows and struggles and have come out with an attitude of thanksgiving, not for the struggles but for life itself. I think the answer to the question is pretty simple: they realize that God’s love and the love of others has been poured out, over and into them, and they decide to be truly grateful for that. Then they decide to pour that love, the grace of God, over others. They receive and give love out of gratitude.
It’s not easy in our world today to decide to let gratitude be a way of life. In fact, most things pull against that and pull us away from that. That’s because it’s easy to choose not to receive and share the love that is offered to us. It’s easier to choose to be complaining, overly worried, afraid, angry and downright unpleasant. I think it is easier to live that way than to choose to be grateful for love and life. Easier, but can lead to bitterness rather than joy and possibility.
This Sunday, Nov. 17, as part of “What the Bible Says About Love” we’re going to focus on “Love as Gratitude”. I’ll share a personal story and connect to a Bible story on this.
Prayer: Help us choose, O God, to see and welcome your love into our fragile, frightened lives. Help us choose our words so that they speak gratitude whether or not we ever utter the word “thanks.” Help us extend your love to others out of gratitude for all you have done for us. Through us, bring hope to your world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Remember that this Sunday, Nov. 17, is our 2020 Stewardship Commitment Sunday. Bring your commitment card to worship or bring or mail it to the church office, or commit online.