Sunday, March 30
Focus for the Week: Gratitude
Rarely do I consider arguing against a Biblical verse, but when thinking of “gratitude” one comes to mind that I personally find a bit inaccurate, if only because it is an understatement. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) But ask any good parent if he or she were faced with the death of a child what they might do and I’m sure the response would be something like “I would rather die myself,” for there is certainly no greater pain than losing a child. So I would argue that love expressed by a parent willing to sacrifice his or her own child is a greater love. Yet that is the sacrificial gift that God gave to us when he saw his own son die on the cross.
So how are we to respond to such a gift, such an unbelievable expression of his love for us? Wikipedia states that gratitude can sometimes be just a warm feeling of appreciation, but often true gratitude “motivates the recipient to seek out his benefactor and improve his relationship with that person.” We are not simply indebted to God for the sacrifice of his son Jesus Christ, as he has not asked us to repay him in kind. So while we owe him nothing, surely he deserves whatever thanks we can possibly offer. On the surface that may seem to be an impossible challenge, for how does one truly say “thank you” to God? Yet I think one need not look too far. We are all created in his image, are we not? He resides in all of us. So offering a helping hand, or our time, talent or money – yes, our service, to any other human in need with a thankful heart means we do so to him. Even an expression of “thanks” to someone else for something he or she has done for us is an expression of gratitude to God. Perhaps that’s the easiest way to get started. So pick up a pen, or a phone, or even a more modern form of technology (I have a hunch that God is open to receiving texts and emails these days!) and show someone your gratitude with a message of “thanks.” I think you’ll find that it’s only the beginning of a deeper relationship with that person and ultimately with our divine Creator.
Lift in prayer today
The Learning Collaborative,
a preschool for children in vulnerable situations