Grateful or Grumpy?

There are days when it seems easy to be grumpy. One reason for this is that many things nowadays seem to take so much energy and effort. Learning new technology, figuring out whether it’s safe to go stores or other places, making alternate plans for … just about everything! I think sometimes that grumpiness also comes from grieving our losses, like not being able to do usual things, such as large family or friend gatherings or worshiping indoors. It seems to me that grieving over losses from this time is a human, normal response and maybe some days we are grumpy about things. In Scripture, some of the Psalm writers and prophets were known to lament how things were and cry out to God. I’ve often told people that God can handle our laments. Maybe God even wants us to feel free to cry out to God when things are challenging or difficult.

After they’ve cried out their laments and sorrows, most of the time the Psalm writers return to things like: “Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper! You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord, my God, I will give thanks to you forever.” (Psalm 30:10-12)

In this season of thanksgiving, we have a chance to turn our grumpiness to gratitude. Perhaps right now you could take a moment or two, grab a pen and paper or your computer and make a “gratitude list.” My guess is that, even in these times, our gratitude lists will be longer than our grumpy lists.

This Sunday, Nov. 22, we’ll finish our series on “Words of Hope” by talking about “Humility” and connecting it with gratitude. You can watch recorded worship at 9:45 a.m. at, St. Mark’s Tucson Facebook, or YouTube UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley.

On Sunday evening you’ll receive an email inviting you to register for outdoor worship at 9 a.m. Nov. 29 on our west patio. Nov. 29 is the first Sunday of Advent, the season of preparing our hearts to receive Jesus at Christmas.

Don’t forget to come to the church this Sunday, Nov. 22, to drive through the Advent Caravan from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Anchored in Hope stewardship commitment cards will be received until 2 p.m.). Come to any or all of the Caravan stations. No advanced registration is required to come to the Caravan – just come and have fun!

With your engagement and participation at St. Mark’s this year, in so many ways, you have already shown gratitude for all that God has done and is doing for us. You’re on my gratitude list!

Thanksgiving blessings,