The great truth is that the best things in life are shared. At times when moving around and meeting with others is either impossible or greatly curtailed, we appreciate the truth of that even more. Many’s the time I’ve wished we could somehow overcome distance and time constraints to be with friends, eat, drink, be merry, and most importantly, speak from our hearts and actively listen to each other. We all have much in common in our shared experiences, and at the same time have unique perspectives on the things that really do enrich us. Each of us are literally members one of another and we really do have an effect on each other that is not just a figure of speech. The idea behind being assembled together is so that we might be a “habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22).
Today is a reminder that we have a choice to be grateful and count our blessings. Instead of only seeing life through the lens of conflict and division. Gratitude and thanksgiving do not mean we turn a blind eye to the challenges of our past and present. Nor does it ask us to ignore the tensions in our world and daily lives. We have much to give thanks for and much for which we repent. Life is complicated, a mixture of order and chaos, blessings and curses, justice and injustice, life and death.
As the psalmist says, there are times in our lives when we are overwhelmed by sins personal and sins communal, yet we become thankful people when we bring our sorrows to God, looking to him for healing and wholeness. We are filled with good things, when, in the words of his song, we live in the courts of the Lord, dwelling in his house all the days of our lives.
Help us today to embrace and celebrate a life of gratitude, found not in our own strength, but in our ability to bring the whole of life, both its joys and sorrows, into the healing presence of God.