O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136.1
There are some folks that you never ask, “So, how are you today?” If you do, you get an itemized list of every ache and pain, every perceived slight, the merest cloud in the sky. A terse, Good Day, is the best greeting.
But I still ask, “How are you?” In an elevator just this week, I asked that question of an elder gent. How refreshing to hear a litany of all the good things going on in his life, from the bright sunny summer day (in September), to the joy his grandchildren bring, to the surprising bouquet of flowers someone left by his wife’s graveside. That elevator trip was an absolute joy. I thank God for men and women like him.
It is customary at this time of the year to ask ourselves, “For what do I give thanks?” And it is good for us to pause and think about it. I did. Here is some of what I came up with.
Birth. I am glad I was born; it means I am alive. More specifically, I am thankful to have been born to the parents I have, in the country where I am. Daily we see children born to parents who don’t care for them or abuse them; aren’t we thankful for our parents, imperfect though they are/were?
I am thankful that I was born in this country. Nah, Canada isn’t perfect, far from it, but I love it anyway. We have freedom to speak, to move, to worship, to vote, to love. And for the most part, we aren’t in the line of most of the natural catastrophes we see happening around the world.
I am thankful for decisions made, actions taken that brought a certain young woman to Canada for school, and for a young man who interrupted his university studies to go to a Bible School. Forty years we have been together and it seems like one.
I am thankful for our children, with whom I played, over whom I prayed, to whom I lectured. Perfect and without blemish, not. But I love them to death anyway.
Grandchildren? Don’t get me started.
The Church. Universal. What a great gift God has given us. Brothers and sisters who share our ministry, our tears and our joys. We may be divided over doctrine (all matters of human interpretation and irrelevant to God) but we still share the deep unity of Christ.
The Church. This congregation and my first congregation in Saskatchewan. What a joy to work with people who love Christ and his Church. I am thankful that the Spirit has gathered us together, equipped us, and given us a mission. I am thankful for the many who share their bountiful gifts with others.
I am thankful, that out of all the people in the world, God chose me to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Thankful, that despite my obvious sinfulness and flaws, God still considered me worthy of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Oh, there are lots of other things: cameras, computers, knives and beer. Flowers, bees, rascally chipmunks and rain.
The list goes on and on and on, because the God whom we serve blesses us endlessly. Open my eyes, Lord, to see and count my blessings. Amen.