November has quickly come upon us. We begin November with All Saints Day and our Annual Meeting. At end of November we also celebrate Thanksgiving. What a great time to give thanks for the all the saints who inspire us in our faith, to give thanks for all work we do as Community Lutheran Church and to give thanks for family and all we have. God is good. I urge you to find a moment each day (it can be just 5 minutes) to give thanks. Give thanks to God, thank the people who care for you and thank those who are often overlooked. With all that is happening in the world around us we can often be so focused on negativity and our fears about the future we forget to be grateful for what we do have and what God is doing right now. When we focus on gratefulness we can experience joy.
I would also encourage you to engage with the Psalms. The Psalms reflect the whole range of human emotion. As we give thanks we should also take time to be honest with ourselves and God. Sometimes we aren’t thankful. Sometimes we are angry or in pain. Sometimes we are overwhelmed and confused. In the Psalms we read honest conversation with God. If you pay close attention you might notice how many of the psalms move from pain and sadness to hope and thankfulness for God’s goodness. We can truly experience gratitude and thankfulness when we allow ourselves experience the wholeness of Life, the good and the bad. We often forget that the Good News of Jesus isn’t that we will be happy all the time but that we have a God who took on flesh, knows what it means to be human. Jesus walks with us through joy, pain, sorrow and death. Isn’t that something truly to be thankful for?
Find a Psalm that resonates with you. Use it as your prayer. My prayer for you is that you will find a deeper connection with God and you will experience a greater sense of gratitude. For myself, Psalm 55 is my prayer. I look at the news. I see the violence, and hateful words everyday. I long for God’s justice and peace. Especially verses 6-7
“And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
truly, I would flee far away;
I would lodge in the wilderness;Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter for myself
from the raging wind and tempest.”
And as I read these words, I know that God is my refuge and my strength. And that I am called to provide words of comfort and peace in times such as these. I am grateful for this task.
Be Grateful Brothers and Sisters. Christ’s peace be with you.