Grateful to a Most Generous God
On Thanksgiving Day, we ask the guests seated around our dinner table to share something for which they are thankful. The responses are interesting, inspiring, heartfelt and funny. Despite “Black Friday” looming large, the responses invariably come from deep wells of gratitude for who we are, not so much for what we have.
In her stewardship talk a couple of weeks ago, Sallie Shippen knocked it out of the ball park when she observed that our giving isn’t so much about our generosity. It’s about God’s generosity.
In one of our well-known prayers we say we offer our gifts with joy and thanksgiving for what God has given us – ourselves, our time, and our possessions. These are signs of God’s gracious love. Gratitude is a response to God and God’s overflowing generosity of healing love and forgiveness.
Like our emphasis in 2015, this year’s Stewardship emphasis on November 18th is Consecration Sunday. I very much like this approach, as it stresses the need of the giver to give. There is no talk of budgets, only the joy and power of keeping and growing a spiritual discipline of gratitude in response to God’s generous goodness.
I’m looking forward to what our guests will share at our home on Thanksgiving Day this month, though we need not contain our gratitude until then. Every Sunday we gather in gratitude. Every week a table is set with gifts of bread and wine. Praying over these gifts we give thanks to God for the gift of creation, God’s many loving deeds, and most especially Jesus Christ who stretched out his hands in suffering to free all the world.
Join me in continuing to lift our hearts in gratitude and praise.