On November 1, Pastor Nico led us as we remembered the saints, those who have gone before us in the faith, those for whom we give thanks to God. And in a few short days, we will observe Veterans Day, giving thanks to those who have given of themselves in service to our nation. These days, we have lots of opportunity to be thankful.
It seems only appropriate then, that in the month of November, we cap it all off with Thanksgiving. Sure, this is a national and civic holiday, meant to remind us of the Pilgrims' plight and how Native peoples shared their food and resources with the Anglos who were so new to this soil. But as Christians, we have the opportunity to make this holiday so much more. We get the opportunity to be reminded that every good and gracious gift we have received, the ability to work, our income, our family and friends, all of these are gifts of grace from God. All that we have, and all that we are, are gifts from God.
And so I want to encourage each and every one of us at St. John to spend the month of November cultivating a heart of gratitude and thankfulness. I want to encourage you to be disciplined, each and every day of November to find something in your life to be thankful for, and express it to others. If you use social media like Facebook or Twitter, post something you are thankful for each day of November. Or if you are a little less technologically inclined, use a sticky note or journal to record something you are thankful for, every day. Try not to repeat anything. Make each day a unique item of gratitude. And then share what you are thankful for with your family or friends around the dinner or coffee table and talk about it.
You see, a grateful heart does not come naturally to us. It is something, by God's grace, we must intentionally cultivate. You might be surprised how this simple act will change you over the course of just one month, so much so, you might choose to continue this daily practice long after Thanksgiving has come and gone!
One other benefit of this discipline? Thankfulness is contagious. As others in your circle of influence, family, friends, co-workers, read and hear about your thankfulness, it will rub off on them, and whether they know it or not, they will be drawn toward being more thankful in their lives as well.
Will you join me in this daily discipline for the month of November?
“Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 CEB
With you in thanksgiving,