The peace of Christ to each of you on this Thanksgiving week!
Each year, this holiday stirs up a wide range of memories, emotions, and interactions with family or friends. For some, this time is full of joy and rest, while, for others, this week comes bearing painful reminders of loss. We believe that the Lord is near to us through it all.
However this week meets you, know that those of us that get to serve and worship alongside you are indescribably grateful that the Father has brought each of you into this Kingdom work with us. You are all a sincere delight to the worship staff and to our congregation.
We hope that this week would be a reminder to us all that we are called to live as a people of daily thanksgiving to the Lord.
Ray Hollenbach, our dear friend, author, and pastor from Campbellsville, Kentucky, has written two very timely blogposts about the Christian’s act of giving thanks.
Below are excerpts from and links to these two articles:
- “The Dangers of Thanksgiving”
In this first reflection, Ray examines the ways in which we express thanksgiving and what kind of gratitude is pleasing to God.
“But there is a path that leads to life, thanksgiving that enters the gates of God’s estate. Healthy thanksgiving is absolute. Without qualification. It has no need to look about. Absolute thanks focuses on the Giver and the gift. Absolute thanks understands that the gift says everything about the Giver—and next to nothing about the one who receives it, other than the receiver is the object of perfect love. Relative thankfulness looks around; absolute thanks looks up. Absolute thanks yearns for everyone to know such joy. Absolute thanks is the little boy who hits a home run, and wishes every other boy on the team will get the same chance to experience the thrill of taking the victory lap.”
Read the full post here
2. “The Current of Thanksgiving”
This piece works through giving thanks as a daily practice and act of worship and how the Spirit can shape us in the gratitude.
“Anyone can recite the major blessings of their life if they are called upon to do so every once in a while. But the daily practice of thankfulness either becomes dull via repetition or a mere formula we rush through before we move on to the next task. Unless we apply ourselves to the substance of the prayer: can we develop the skill to discover God’s goodness day-by-day? My ten-minute morning prayer exercise has begun to sharpen my awareness of God’s mercies, which after all, are new every morning. As I go about my day I try to gather up in my memory the Father’s small kindnesses—and I’ve discovered there are hundreds each day! But we only find those things we are looking for.”
Read the full reflection here