Monday, July 29, 2013

“Thank you, God

“Thank you, God, for the beauty of this summer day.” Those were the opening words to the blessing that my eldest son prayed over the burgers and fries we shared at a local restaurant. After he finished the rest of his prayer, the power of those opening words, “Thank you, God” reminded me of the importance that gratitude has in the life of God's people.

It's very easy to let personal anxieties and worldly expectations drive the way we live our lives. Take a moment sometime and talk to a stranger in line at the grocery store or at the airport or at the ball field and sooner or later they will reveal the source of a fear or an anxiety in their lives. As a pastor, you learn very quickly that, at best, fear and anxiety can cast a pall on life, muting its beauty and vitality; at worst, as the Garden of Eden narrative teaches, it will destroy relationships and community.

In the third chapter of Paul's letter to the church in Colossae, he reminded the followers of Jesus that their lives – individually and corporately - were to be evidence that Christ is alive. One of my favorite passages in the Bible is found in verse 15: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”  I believe Paul wrote that because he learned that adopting the posture of gratitude is a powerful gateway to experience God's grace and God's peace. Gratitude opens our hearts to the revelation of how God has indeed blessed us.

Now, there are a myriad of ways that we can experience that manifest goodness of God; but I experience God's goodness best through the people he has placed in my life. When I think about my wife, Jennifer and our children I am grateful for God's constant companionship through their patience and constant love. When I think about the wonderful lay people in the churches we've served, I am grateful for the church and for the way God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. When I think about the Bishops, superintendents and pastors who through the years offered me direction, accountability and fellowship I am grateful that God did not let me be in ministry by myself.

God's grace is abundant in our lives, my friends. Be grateful and you'll see it. Even if it is over burgers and fries.

Grace to you and peace...
Rev. Herzen Andone

-- excerpt from a reflection by Herzen Andone is superintendent of the Northwest District. 

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Content Producer

1 comment:

JWren said...

Well said.

Cynthia Myers