Published on Jan 20th, 2016 by wpd-office | 0

January is here. Another year past. And the memories crowd back. All the things done. All the things undone. All the times I wish I had done something. All the times I wish I had not done something. And among the things I was thinking was a program I recently heard on “gratitude.” If there is one thing that I might wish to have done more of, that would be the gratefulness for the ordinary things of life! The little things that come to us like small secret joys that are too often bypassed in favor of the big and spectacular—these are the things that truly make our lives beautiful and useful! And so I shall spend this message to you in the Shepherd’s Voice giving voice to those blessings which we may not think about or think about very little.

As we see refugees streaming into Europe from Syria, from Afghanistan, from various African countries, we can feel blessed that we have work to do, homes to return to, ways to serve the world? Yes, work may be drudgery and it may be onerous, yes your home may not be all you want, yes you may wish you could make a grander splash in the world that just the little you seem to do, but dear friends, you have work, you have a home, and you have a way to serve!! So sit for a moment and think about what you have that suddenly comes to you as blessing. And give thanks!

You come into church every Sunday, every, every Sunday, and the things you do for church may feel like the same old, over and over again. You sing songs, you fix food, you pray for people, you wash dishes, you greet people, you sit in the same pew, you listen to another sermon. And somehow, the church has become taken for granted. Do you know how precious your church, large or little, is to you?   The stained glass windows, the front steps that lead into the sanctuary, the people however odd or more normal, the songs that challenge us and comfort us, the best efforts of the preacher to pray and to preach a sermon that speaks to you—these are, when you think correctly about them, blessings to you!  The people care about you and pray for you! The songs lift your spirits or speak to your sadness. The food is an offering of love! The dishes are evidence of that love which has fed you! The prayers, in ways that you could not even name, comfort you and stand with you in all the watches of the day and night! Give thanks for the blessing of your church!

Whether you have one friend or many, they are more priceless than gold! They call you, they come to you, they listen to you, they hold your hand, they share their hearts with you! How lonely would life be without them. And friends from afar and well as friends near enrich our lives with their little chatter and their great thoughts! Friends will be wish you in the hard times and friends will be with you in the good times. And friends, when they leave you for a bit or leave for their eternal home, leave a sweet incense of special love that can never be forgotten or replaced! Give thanks for your friends!

And do not forget those little experiences that come to you with startling clarity! A bird sings on the branch above you! A small flower pokes through the ground! An orchestra plays your favorite music! A book speaks to your soul! Sunlight catches the soft fronds of a grass! The warm comfort of a familiar room is something you sink into at the end of a day. The blue, blue sky opens in ways that open yourself to the new and the possible, and a chimney pokes its head above into the color! The line of geese parts the sky with an unerring instinct! The radio program tells you that gratitude will help you live longer, be healthier, and enrich your life beyond measure!  And you know it is true!

These are our blessings, only a few of many! They tell us, however, of the many, many more that God has provided! Why should we complain? Why should we fight about things? Why should we let meanness get the best of us? Let us simply bless one another, bless our lives, and bless our Lord! As the Psalmist says, “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” Indeed!!

Grace & Peace,

Sonja signature00025



Sonja Griffith,
District Executive Minister

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