Choose to Give Thanks

Choose to Give Thanks

We often set November aside to be a month of thanks and offer praise and thanksgiving to God for all we have been provided. Our lists always contain some of the same big items: family, friends, shelter, health and food. We have some variety as we offer up thanks for other things as well, but it can become a laundry list of all the experiences and stuff God has given us. There is nothing wrong with this kind of list, but could our thanksgiving cover a deeper understanding of gratitude?

At times this laundry list is all we can manage; we don’t feel thankful in the least, and we don’t care to try to be thankful. Throughout the month of November we will be working on this concept of being thankful. There will be an opportunity to study the book, Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks (see following page). That book will be the basis for the sermon series as well. The author, Diana Butler Bass, challenges us to look at gratitude as a choice, and explains how making that choice will impact not only our own life, but those of the world around us. She writes of the impact community can have on our own awareness, our sense of celebration, our community, and even our politics.

She offers this prayer in her book, “God, this Thanksgiving, we do not give thanks. We choose it. We will make this choice of thanks with courageous hearts, knowing that it is humbling to say “thank you.” We choose to see your sacred generosity, aware that we live in an infinite circle of gratitude. That we all are guests at a hospitable table around which gifts are passed and received. We will not let anything opposed to love take over this table. Instead, we choose grace, free and unmerited love, the giftedness of life everywhere. In this choosing, and in the making, we will pass gratitude onto the world. Thus, with you, and with all those gathered at this table, we pledge to make thanks. We ask you to strengthen us in this resolve. Here, now, and into the future. Around our family table. Around the table of our nation. Around the table of the earth. We choose thanks.”

Can your thanksgiving month follow this model? What will it take for you to choose thanks? Start with prayer and praise, even when you don’t feel like it. That’s right, look for that good and offer your praise to God. There is always something to praise. Our anxious world is looking for peace and we, Church, can help provide those answers. Each week in worship we examine Scripture that will demonstrate to us how to choose gratitude and how that choice will make a difference.

Happy Thanksgiving, happy choosing gratitude!

Mountain View UMC

We believe you will be impressed by the passion, authenticity and diversity of this sacred community.